Healthcare divided by wealth, 42% of Italians have given up on treatment

The topic of healthcare was central to the national discussion during the Covid emergency. The pandemic had shed light on the need to rethink the system. New hires and refinancing, however, remained blocked on a theoretical level, almost entirely. The reality is that the National health service is struggling and, looking at guaranteed access to medical care, it is the less well-off classes who pay the highest price.

This happens mainly through extremely long waits, which often translates into accepting the inevitable worsening of one's conditions. In other cases, however, you find yourself selecting the greatest urgency, among monthly fiscal tasks, such as shopping, school, electricity and gas, and expenses related to your own health and that of your loved ones.

Italian healthcare

Well the 53% of Italians he is forced to face gods extremely long waiting times, if related to the urgency of your health conditions. Although they are formally prohibited, 37% denounce the widespread existence of blocked or closed lists.

In this scenario, approximately 1 in 2 citizens opts directly for the paid healthcare, now without even trying to rely on the National Health Service, at least for certain problems. Those who, due to medical necessity, are forced to repeatedly undergo certain types of analyzes or interventions, know the specific timing extremely well. For this reason, we often directly opt for a greater economic sacrifice.

These statistics are highlighted by the 21st report Hospitals & Healthpromoted by AIOP-Italian Association of Private Hospitals, created in collaboration with Censis.

Healthcare divided by wealth

The report highlights a clear division by class, in terms of the right to access healthcare. The treatment is highly unequal, with waiting lists so significant as to generate a gap in income. On the one hand, those who can turn to the private sector and on the other, those who have to live with various types of problems for months, waiting to receive support.

What is also devastatingly striking is the possibility of eliminating, or almost eliminating, months of waiting by opening your wallet. Sixty or ninety days suddenly turn into 3-5.

For 56%, using an accredited private facility is a necessity. This is in view of the obvious difficulties of hospitals in responding within times considered appropriate to citizens' demand. In this scenario a 16% who had to travel outside the Region as part of services provided by the Health Service.

Summing up, two phenomena can easily be identified. On the one hand, the impact of this condition on the economy of individual citizens. On the other hand, however, the frequent postponement of treatment, when one does not definitively opt to renounce it, in the face of economic tasks considered to be priorities.

Give up treatment

As mentioned, many Italians are forced to make a choice. Medical care is not always a priority. As incredible as this reasoning may seem, heavy monthly expenses are constantly increasing, as also highlighted by the costs of electricity and gas bills, so visits, exams and operations are postponed more and more.

In 2023 the 42% of patients with low incomes, up to 15 thousand euros, it was forced to postpone health care or give it up altogether. On the one hand, there is the impossibility of accessing the National Health Service. On the other hand, however, the inability to bear the costs of private healthcare.

According to the Aiop-Censis report, this concerns 32% of those with an income between 15 and 30 thousand euros, 22.2% of those with incomes between 30 and 50 thousand euros and 14.7% of those who exceed 50 thousand euros nod.