Half of Italians believe spending cuts hit healthcare access

Fear deficit controls mean new inequalities in healthcare

(ANSA) - Rome, December 5 - Half of Italians, some 50.2% of those surveyd, believe that austerity measures and other government policies enacted in recent years have increased inequalities in healthcare, Censis said Friday.
    The Italian socio-economic research firm found the fear that public healthcare spending cuts, government budget spending reviews and the containment of regional budgets are driving those who can afford it toward private sector options.
    Private healthcare spending rose from 29.6 billion euros in 2007 to 31.4 billion euros in 2013, according to Censis' 48th report on the state of Italy, released Friday.
    New inequalities have joined the resurrection of old ones, thanks to the growth of for-pay healthcare services, the survey concluded.
    A total of 48.1% of Italian respondents said wealth was among the most important factors determining the outcome of disease.
    However, 86.7% of Italian respondents still expressed confidence that Italy's national healthcare service, despite its flaws, is capable of guaranteeing the health and welfare of everyone.


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