Health in Italy network could generate 5 billion a year.
Italy is seeking to exploit the country's internationally-recognised healthy image by promoting its medical expertise to private patients from non-EU countries.
The non-profit Health in Italy network, a concept which originated at Rome's Policlinico Universitario Campus Biomedico, could result in "an increase in health turnover of over €5 billion a year", Italy's minister of foreign affairs Angelino Alfano said during a conference at the Farnesina on 4 October.
The plan is to capitalise on Italy's recent ranking as the world's healthiest nation in the Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries, as well as underlining the added all-round benefits of Italy's culture, tourism and Mediterranean diet.
Alfano described the medical tourism system as an integrated, high-level effort involving Italy's ministries of foreign affairs, health, and cultural heritage and tourism.