Valuing foreign doctors: a resource for Italy

The Amsi urges the recognition and integration of international healthcare professionals

The Association of Foreign Doctors in Italy (Amsi), led by Prof. Foad Aodi, has highlighted the crucial importance of valorizing and integrating foreign healthcare professionals into the fabric of the Italian national healthcare system. This appeal assumes particular significance at a time when the country, like many others, is grappling with a marked shortage of healthcare personnel. Amsi emphasizes that foreign doctors and nurses should not be perceived as a temporary or emergency solution, but rather as a fundamental and stable component of the country’s healthcare workforce.

What is Amsi

Amsi was founded in 2001 with the aim of promoting the integration and valorization of foreign-origin doctors in Italy. Through its efforts, the association has supported initiatives aimed at facilitating the entry and hiring of foreign healthcare personnel, recognizing their indispensable contribution to maintaining care standards and preventing the closure of numerous hospital units. With the support of entities such as Umem (Euro-Mediterranean Medical Union) and Uniti per Unire, Amsi has proposed policies to simplify the recognition of foreign professional qualifications and has called for the extension of crucial regulations, such as the “Cura Italia” Decree, to ensure the continuity of healthcare assistance.

The challenge of personnel shortage

The shortage of healthcare personnel represents one of the major challenges for the Italian healthcare system, exacerbated by factors such as an aging population, economic constraints, and an increase in the demand for healthcare services. Facing this emergency, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci has highlighted the importance of attracting doctors and nurses from abroad as an integral part of the solution. However, the path to full integration is hindered by numerous difficulties, including bureaucratic barriers, validation of foreign qualifications, and the need to overcome linguistic and cultural differences. Amsi’s proposals aim to facilitate these transitions by promoting permanent contracts for foreign professionals and removing the citizenship requirement for access to work in the healthcare sector.

An appeal for support

“We fully share the Government’s intentions, which, through the personal commitment of Minister Schillaci, intend to revise and give new impetus to our healthcare system, focusing on the valorization of professionals, and then on reducing waiting lists and reorganizing hospital structures.

At the same time, however, Schillaci is also realistic about the impossibility of solving the personnel shortage overnight and opens the doors to the arrival of foreign doctors and nurses in Italy.

As Amsi, the Association of Foreign Doctors in Italy, already in 2001, we alerted the policymakers with an appeal to start a programmatic census to understand, already at that time, the real need for professionals.

We do not agree with framing foreign doctors and nurses as temporary stopgaps; we find it reductive and discriminatory.

Amsi has long supported not only Italian professionals and their economic-contractual valorization but also targeted, selective immigration of doctors and nurses.

We would like to remind our Government representatives, who clearly have our full support, that, thanks to our foreign professionals in Italy, we avoided the closure of about 1200 departments in 2023, including emergency rooms and various services in public healthcare facilities.

They, like Italian healthcare personnel, deserve respect and support, and for this reason, Amsi, along with Umem (Euro-Mediterranean Medical Union) and Uniti per Unire, calls for the extension of the “Cura Italia” Decree beyond its expiration date of December 31, 2025, to avoid the closure of about 600 departments in both public and private facilities, as well as permanent contracts and the removal of the citizenship requirement to access our public and private healthcare.

For foreign doctors and nurses, it will be necessary to rectify the situation with definitive recognition from the Ministry of Health and registration with professional associations, and it will be necessary to resolve insurance issues like their Italian and foreign-born colleagues.

For this reason, we reiterate that foreign healthcare professionals should not be discriminated against as stopgap solutions to resort to but can be a truly valuable resource for today’s and tomorrow’s healthcare.”

So says Prof. Foad Aodi, President of Amsi, Umem, Uniti per Unire, and Co-mai, as well as a Professor at Tor Vergata and a member of the Fnomceo Registry.


  • Amsi press release
You might also like