5/25/2012

HOW PUBLIC HEALTH CARE WORKS (DOESN'T WORK) IN ITALY



Obamacare is one of the most controversial piece of legislation approved by this administration. It actually introduce the concept of public health care run by the government.
In Europe this form of health care is very common, such as in UK, Italy, Spain or France. For example we'll talk about the system is currently adopted in Italy.
Over there the government collects money from tax revenue and pays the majority of the health care costs for the taxpayers. A small "ticket" is paid by the patients whenever they need assistance (it usually goes from $20 up to $100 or more).
The problem is that the government has to deal with massive corruption among the regional hospital managers and an impressive debt. Moreover the people has to face the unsustainable waiting times for any exam except for the blood tests.
It simply goes like this: 
let's suppose somebody needs to undergo a gastroscopy for some kind of stomach pain. This person has two possibilities:

  1. wait 12-18 months for the public service
  2. pay $300-400 and go private
So you have to pay taxes for the public health care and you have to pay a second time the private hospitals if you don't want to die while waiting for your exam.
The interesting thing is that some doctors work both in public and private structures. Of course they encourage their patients to pay for private cures and have decent services because like that they get more money (I want to remark that not all doctors act like that). Now, that's how it works in Italy, and I personally know it. 

The public health care is the best thing you can imagine only until you realize how it really works.