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Issue no. 2 - 2004

by Redazione FGB [1], 21 March 2004

Last December, an "online dialogue" was opened in the Foundation site on the subject of innovation in the health field and the political responsibilities this involves.

The question was taken up following an article by Maurizio De Filippis entitled "La Fabbrica della Salute". The implications of the underlying issue, the risks of "technocracy", in the health field had not previously been properly developed in the site. The questions broached some time ago in an article by Marina Corradi for Avvenire, the daily newspaper, which we used as a reference and which included a dialogue coordinated by Corradi herself, were still open. Ivan Cavicchi, who took part in the Avvenire dialogue, raised a number of issues that can be summed up in the following questions:

- How can public health services provide universal access to treatments that are becoming more and more effective but at the same time more and more costly?
- Is there a technocratic risk in the health field?
- And what are the consequences of the full-scale recourse to technology from the point of view of the right of access to care/treatment?

Consequently, last December we tried to pick up this subject again by addressing it on-line, once again in dialogue form. De Filippis responded in January with the above-mentioned article which, with its wide scope and historic approach, contains two observations that bring to mind some of the arguments developed in the Call for Comments on "No Innovation without Representation" (see previous editions of the Diary). These are: "A country's competitiveness in the scientific field is measured primarily by its determination and capacity to achieve renewal by integrating the different 'spirits' that play a part in producing innovation" and "The complexity of these phenomena also affects the doctor-patient relationship: the increasingly specialised approach in medical practice has led to a situation where the technology prevails over the anthropological aspects of treatment and at the same time brings about a progressive increase in the bureaucratic burden connected with hospitalisation and 'medicalisation' processes in the 'affluent society'".

At that point our online dialogue moved forward with a number of people taking part, many of them in the light of their experience in the medical field.

For a list of all contributions (in chronological order), see the item of 2 March in the Topics section, entitled "Innovation in the health field and political responsibilities: list of all contributions".

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