Why Italy

Italy is the 4th largest market in Europe for medical devices, has approximately 1.200 hospitals and 3.000 distributors. 


Italy is also the 7th largest market for medical devices in the world.


Consumption of medical equipment and supplies is valued at Euro 10.9 billion in 2012.


Despite a strong presence of manufacturers in certain sectors, the overall medical device market remains reliant on imported goods, the value of which was Euro 8.2 billion in 2011.


There are approximately 1.200 hospitals in Italy.

1.172 are either “Public Hospitals” (638) or “Accredited Private Hospitals” (534) within the National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN), while 69 are “Not-Accredited Private Hospitals” outside the SSN.


The latest available data (2010) show that total health care expenditure stands at Euro 111.2 billion (Euro 86.2 billion in public expenditure and Euro 25.0 billion in private expenditure) and 79.6% of this health spending was funded by public sources, above the average of 72.2% in OECD countries. The reminder 20.4% is made of “out-of-pocket payments” (16%) and “voluntary health insurance” (4.4%). As a matter of fact, the public sector is the main source of health funding in all OECD countries, except Chile, the United States and Mexico.

Italy spent 8.7% of GDP on health in 2007, slightly less than the OECD average of 8.9%. Spending per person was also slightly lower than the OECD average. The United States (16.0%), France (11.0%) and Switzerland (10.8%) had high shares compared with an average of 8.9% across OECD countries.


There are 3.7 physicians per thousand population in Italy (above OECD average of 3.1 in 2009) and there has been rapid growth in the availability of diagnostic technologies such as computed tomography (CT) scanners and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units in Italy in the last 10 years. In 2010, the number of MRIs was 22.4 per million population (well above the OECD average of 12.5), and the number of CT scanners stood at 31.6 per million population (above the OECD average of 22.6).