Half of Italy 'rationing' health care due to economic crisis

Nearly 60% in southern Italy cutting back on medical spending

(ANSA) - Rome, January 9 - More than half, or 53%, of Italians report that they are rationing their health care due to financial difficulties, with the highest numbers in southern Italy, at 59%, according to a report released on Friday by the Unisalute division of Unipol Group, Italy's second-largest insurance company.
    More than one-third, or 38%, of Italians said they only see their doctor or have medical tests performed when they "have a real need" for them, the report said.
    One in four Italians has cut back on visits to private healthcare providers, and 52% of those who do use a private provider claim they only do so when they can't wait the time it would take under the nation's public healthcare system.
    Unisalute said healthcare rationing has become an "established trend" in recent years as the ongoing economic crisis has forced Italians to find ways to reduce spending.
   

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