The Gelli Law: Focusing on the Safety of Care and Health Professional Accountability

Recently a decree of the Italian Ministry of Health in APRIL 2017 put in place the innovative Law 24/2017 known colloquially as the Gelli Law, which is focused on the safety of care and the occupational accountability of practitioners in health professions.

This law underlines the patient’s right to receive safe care, directly drawn from article 32 of the Italian Constitution. The right to safe healthcare should be ensured through instruments of prevention and risk management, together with the appropriate use of the resources available. The law also underlines every single health worker’s duty to contribute to the prevention of risk during the provision of a healthcare service.

In this way, all health professionals should be actively responsible for patient safety. With this new law, all health professionals (i.e. with a specific professional profile) are liable both from a civil and a criminal point of view, if found guilty of negligence.

Such changes to the law around patient care may have significant implications for both students and their clinical supervisors. It will be interesting to see in the longer term if this change impacts on the learning events experienced by Italian health professional students – SLIPPS will be mindful of this when examining Italian learning event records in the coming months and years.




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