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An ideal minister of health
  1. C La Vecchia1,
  2. S Garattini2
  1. 1Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”, Milan, Italy
  2. 2Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C La Vecchia;

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Should work across government and be a collaborator

In developed countries, health systems are complex structures that may run even in the absence of a minister of health, and at least in Italy the idea of abolishing the ministry of health and de-centralising its powers has long been considered.

A key issue is, therefore, what can an ideal minister of health add, and what skills are required. To successfully finalise his activities, a minister of health should have a deep knowledge of the way the ministry—and the government at large—are working. Otherwise, the minister may will be overwhelmed by bureaucrats, and even the best initiatives will …

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