Napolitano defends national health service

But 'rationalising, innovative solutions' OK

Napolitano defends national health service

Roma, November 9 - President Giorgio Napolitano spoke out in defence of Italy's national health service on Friday even while warning against being overly protective of the existing system. ''I believe that the preservation (of the national health service) is compatible with greater selectivity in and reduction of public spending on condition that rationalising and innovative solutions are sought,'' said Napolitano in reference to broad health sector cuts introduced by the government as part of austerity measures to shore up the struggling national economy. ''We need to look ahead, we need to look a long way and discover how best to use the resources that belong to the community and to citizens,'' said the President, adding that he believed ''the creation of the national health service 34 years ago as the result of a bipartisan decision represented a big leap forward'' for the country.

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