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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 never be approved.
The minister must be able to communicate the …