In order to give Anesthesia in Italy it is mandatory to be a medical doctor and to obtain a fellowship from a University school of medicine. The fellowship`s duration is 5 years in a University hospital. The studies are according to the European Community guidelines and include Anesthetics, pain control, Hyperbaric medicine and critical care medicine.
Only university hospitals can give such courses. It is given usually in a medium city (300,000 citizens) where there are 8 new anesthetists in training each year.
Two national societies represent the Italian anesthetists:
Siaarti : Scientific society administered by university professors
AAROI: Anesthetists` trust to defend medical rights
The hospital work:
In the daily work the anesthetist gives anesthesia, works in the ICU (only emergency; postoperative ICUs are directed by surgeons), pain control and hyperbaric medicine.
Time spent in the hospital:
In Italy the health care is provided by the national health trust directly administered by the Italian State using own hospitals or private hospitals. The anesthetist is required to spend 38 hours per week in the hospital.
Money per month:
The medical doctor has 3 different progressive positions in the Italian hospital:
Assistant - 1674 US dollars per month; Registrar - 2941 US dollars per month; Chairman - 4117 US dollars per month.
Anesthetic procedures used:
70% of all anesthesia procedures are general anesthesia. The rest (30%) is divided between spinal anesthesia (20%) , epidural (8%) and peripheral blocks (2%). Only 3 hospitals in Italy offer pregnant patients a 24 hours epidural service during labor.
The mean Italian anesthesia costs in US dollars:
1 hour General anesthesia (I.V) : 33
1 hour General anesthesia (gas) : 33
Spinal anesthesia : 17
Continuous Epidural anesthesia : 33
Vincenzo Lanza, MD
Buccheri La Ferla Anaesthesia Department
Via M. Marine, 197 - Palermo - Italy