It has recently been confirmed that the super-ticket for medical visits will be abolished by September 1, 2020. The decision follows the measures contained in the last tax decree approved by the Council of Ministers at Palazzo Chigi. Minister of Health Roberto Speranza says the objective is to lighten family healthcare costs and to eliminate “an expense that has become a barrier to treatment access for many people. Every citizen that is unable to treat illness for economic reasons is a failure for the State”. Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio supports the same claims and affirms that once the super-ticket is abolished, healing oneself will finally become a citizen’s right. The cost of abolishing the super-ticket is estimated at 550 million euros.
Problems with the super-ticket
The super-ticket is fundamentally a 10-euro flat rate tax paid on every doctor’s order for both diagnostic and specialized services. Each region has the autonomy to decide how this taxi is managed on the basis of the services provided or on income.
After it was introduced in 2011, each region could apply the tax as it saw fit, bringing about an excessively fragmented scene with, at times, excessively high payments for the citizen. In Lombardy and Piedmont, for example, the additional tax on the ticket was proportional to the value of the doctor’s order and could arrive at a maximum of 30 euros. Thus, each order could cost up to 66 euro (36 for the “ticket” plus 30 for the “super-ticket”). Even though alternative solutions have been found to reduce the cost, it’s obvious that abolishing it altogether is an advantage for everyone on different levels.
Advantages of abolishing the super-ticket
Even though the abolition of the super-ticket has only just been decided, analyzing the data, it is obvious the super-ticket was never a long-term choice. Already in 2012, there was a decrease by 17.2% in services provided by the National Healthcare System. Part of this decline is due to the fact that some people turned to the private sector for services, a sector that is becoming more and more competitive, but the others? The others opted out of treatments all together since they weren’t able to afford the high costs. This year’s financial strategy seems to aim at rectifying the situation, which was only successful in increasing disparity among the regions.
The super-ticket will thus be abolished. But there’s more. According to Minister Speranza, there will be “a corresponding increase in resources set aside for the national healthcare system, destined to increase in the next three years”.
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