He has the duty to look after individuals in the context of their family, their community and culture, always respecting the autonomy of the patient. He must be aware of having a professional responsibility towards the community in which he works.
The General Practitioner exercises his professional role by promoting health, preventing illness by providing advice, therapies, treatments or palliative interventions. This is done directly, and also through National Health System Services in accordance with the health needs and resources available in the community in which it is located, assisting patients, where necessary, in accessing these services.
The National Collective Agreement for the regulation of relations with General Practitioners, pursuant to art. 8 of Legislative Decree n. 502/1992, as amended by legislative decrees n. 517/1993 and n. 229/1999, in the art. 52 governing the tasks of the General Practitioner.
The main activity is carried out at the medical office, where you can make outpatient visits. The study is normally open five days a week, structured between morning and afternoon; the posted times must take into account the total number of clients. Each patient is related to a Health Record .
Access to the outpatient visit takes place in the manner and at the times indicated by the doctor, preferably by appointment. In the European definition WONCA 2011 the family doctor is normally the first medical contact within the health system and where direct access to users is guaranteed.
The family doctor is chosen by each citizen, from the staff affiliated with the National Health Service (art. 25 law 833/1978), in order to be able to guarantee a first form of external assistance to the hospital unit (first level health intervention). Very often the General Practitioner (GP) has a greater knowledge of the patient and carries out an educational action aimed at preventing and correcting risk factors.
Not only citizens and equivalent but also non-EU citizens legally resident are entitled to the choice of a general practitioner.
The choice can be made within the Municipality of Residence or in the healthcare home, that is in a different place in which the patient declares to remain for more than three months a year, for reasons of study, work, health or assistance to patients (included in health reasons), possession of an exemption for chronic pathology, age above 75 years , belonging to a protected community, minor age with pending adoptability status, minor age in temporary foster care.
In Italy the choice of the general practitioner by the citizen takes place at the Assisted Registry offices of the Local Health Authority (ASL) of the Municipality of residence, or of the Municipal Delegations of the Residence District, where he must identify on a special list the name of the doctor available.
Each doctor has a maximum limit of 1,500 patients , but there are exceptions, as in the case of a relative of a patient already in charge (increase in the family unit).
In the event that a sufficient number of Free Choice Pediatricians is not available, this exemption may also include the enrollment of children under the age of 6 who, otherwise, should be registered with the Pediatrician.
The choice can also be made to a doctor belonging to another Healthcare Company, as long as authorized by A.S.L. of residence. Non-resident citizens can enjoy Health Care provided by the general practitioner for a minimum of three months up to a maximum of twelve, after which it can be extended.
For residents validity lasts one year and is, subject to changes, automatically renewed.