FS Italiane and FIMMG work together to transform railway stations into multi-service healthcare hubs

The agreement aims to provide health services in municipalities with under 15,000 inhabitants to facilitate better access to care by bridging regional gaps

Rome, 14 December 2023

The FS Group and the Italian Federation of General Medical Practitioners (FIMMG) have signed an agreement to implement health services in municipalities with under 15,000 inhabitants, transforming railway stations from transit points into centres of accessible health care.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Silvestro Scotti, National Secretary General of FIMMG, and Massimo Bruno, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of the FS Italiane Group. The agreement marks the start of strategic collaboration that aims to improve the health and well-being of local communities, while also enhancing the role of railway stations as multifunctional and social hubs.

The initiative paves the way for greater integration between transport and health, helping to bridge inequalities in access to healthcare services in less densely populated areas. The aim is to facilitate the prevention and management of medical emergencies, ensuring greater safety for travellers and surrounding communities.

“The FS Group’s project represents a pioneering commitment to strengthening the social fabric of communities by transforming railway stations into multifunctional hubs. This initiative demonstrates FS’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and puts the health and well-being of communities at the centre, demonstrating an innovative approach to meeting local needs. The integration of local health services will further strengthen the role of stations as multi-service healthcare hub, helping to bridge inequalities in access in less populated municipalities,” commented Massimo Bruno, FS Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.

“This agreement has the benefit of combining the capillarity of railway stations with the natural vocation for primary care that has always distinguished general practitioners. It is no coincidence that the pilot project is being established in municipalities of less than 15,000 inhabitants, counteracting the risk of healthcare deadzones. General medicine has always been characterised by its initiative-centric approach, enabling it to proactively tackle problems that dependency systems cannot address as quickly - as we saw with the pandemic. This agreement with Ferrovie dello Stato moves in exactly this direction. The aim is to inspire new models of care based on hub-and-spoke structures that must be supported by expertise, with a focus on primary care,” said Silvestro Scotti, secretary general of FIMMG.

Under the terms of the agreement, the FS Group, together with its subsidiaries, will provide access to areas of its stations or own buildings across the country that are no longer in use. For its part, FIMMG will identify the regions with the greatest need for primary care services, specifying the technical, health and hygiene requirements of the various premises so that they can be used in the best possible way, also considering telemedicine services and digital health solutions.

The work of the FIMMG will reach as far as regional branches, where general practitioners will be made aware of the new opportunities and will thus be able to collaborate in the initiative, providing an important boost to the project.

The first phase of the FS Group project will focus on five municipalities in the areas affected by the earthquakes between 2009 and 2016, in cooperation with the Commissioner for Post-Earthquake Reconstruction, Guido Castelli. The first multi-service HUBs will enter into operation from February 2024.