The Italian health system is one of the best in the world, as measured by principles of equality and universality. Of course there are further opportunities to improve medical care and health outcomes. The Functional Territory Associations (FTA) were established as a principal goal in the last General Practitioners Regional Contract, which was signed in February 2013 in Tuscany. FTAs are designed to increase cooperation between general practitioners in order to improve primary care. In Italy community health services for the elderly (age ≥ 65) must be increased and improved particularly because of future elderly population growth in Western European Countries. In this paper, the authors focus on the Lucca Local Health Unit experience, going through the phases of the process as the FTAs were formed with the contribution of the general practitioners in the local health system. The outcome can be seen as a paradigm for the effective organization of primary care services, especially for the elderly and chronic patients, and towards higher care-giving quality levels related to European and World standards.
Keywords: General Practitioner, Functional Territory Association, integrated health services, family nurse, Chronic Care, chronic diseases, primary care.
Marco Farné, Joseph Polimeni, Franco Chierici, Alessia Macchia, Antonio D'Urso, in "MECOSAN" 92/2014, pp. 77-99, DOI:10.3280/MESA2014-092005