The article deals with social innovation and its application in the health field. Starting from the main paradigms of reference, we analyze the concept in the sector of health, with particular relevance to the issue of social inequalities of health. This concept, which constitutes a real revolution for the approaches of sociology of health, assumes a considerable importance also with regard to the so-called disability studies, and for their analysis that takes into account the social influences on the state of health of people. Regarding the Italian case, the National Health Service, starting from its birth with Law 833/1978, must be considered not only in terms of equity and universalism, but also in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability. Social innovation in this sense, can constitute a real lifeline, and represent for the system an investment that in the medium to long term can lead to a significant reduction in general public spending and an improvement in the level of health and life expectancy of all citizens.
Keywords: Innovazione sociale; sistema sanitario nazionale; disuguaglianze sociali; accesso alle cure; sostenibilità; responsabilità