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Medical Liability and Gelli-Bianco Law

stetoscopio, Gelli-Bianco Law

What Gelli-Bianco Law establishes

Gelli-Bianco Law (No. 64/2017), which came into force on 1 April 2017, concerns “Provisions on the safety of care and the assisted person, as well as on the professional responsibility of health care professionals”. This law serves to overcome Balduzzi Law (No. 189/2012) critical points:

  • the right to healthcare
  • the protection of personal and professional dignity of medical professionals
  • the opposition to defensive medicine
  • the opposition to the increasing public spending on healthcare issues

Moreover, Gelli-Bianco law includes regulations referring to civil and criminal liability, as well as aspects related to the insurance world.

Medical Liability and Gelli-Bianco Law: the progress report

After six months from its approval, Bianco-Gelli Law (No. 24/2017) has reached the following objectives:

  1. Introduction, for the first time. of the right to healthcare as an integral part of constitutional health law;
  2. Issue of risk management for all healthcare facilities;
  3. Data collection by all Italian regions. The implementive decree establishing the National Observatory at the Agenas has already been launched. Given that data are fundamental for this sector, it is therefore necessary to move from paper-based health documentation to electronic documentation;
  4. The other implementive decree, already approved, on the requirements of accredited scientific societies, is also important. This reduces the number of the existing companies (currently, they are 600).

Medical Liability: Will the implementive decree be issued by January?

Although the Law has come into force, several implementive decrees are fundamental to solve oustanding crucial poinys. These, if confirmed, will be issued by January 2018. In fact, within the next month, a single implementive decree should be issued. This, the most important, will address three delicate unsolved insurance issues:

  • the retroactivity and the ultra-activity of the insurance policies;
  • the minimum requirements for insurance and self-insurance;
  • the institution of the Guarantee Fund for damaged patients at Consap. This will replace the Solidarity Fund, introduced by the former Balduzzi Law. Consequently, the Senate will abolish the Solidarity Fund;

Also imminent is the arrival of the implementive decree that will establish the methods for defining the guidelines by ISS – the Higher Institute of Healt. In this regard, the division between contractual responsibility for structures and extra-contractual responsibility for professionals working in the structures is fundamental. Up to now, people have increasingly left the sector, both from the insurance companies and from the structures. Because of the high costs, these have responded with the formula of self-insurance.

The Guarantee Fund is expected to calm the insurance market down.

The outstanding issue today is that the credit is set at 4% of policies, equal to 25 million euros, which are certainly limited compared to the one billion that is assumed as necessary.

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