Historical Archive


Italians often reach for their wallets when undergoing a specialist visit. In 57 percent of cases, including dental services, citizens pay out of pocket. But if we exclude dental care, which in 92 percent is entirely paid for by the patient, it drops to 47.8 percent. The private specialist is also preferred for obstetrics-gynecological visits (private in 64.5 per cent of cases), followed by dietetic (57 per cent), dermatological (52 per cent) and ophthalmological (50 per cent) visits. This was revealed by the Istat report on 60,000 families presented to the Ministry of Health in recent days. Marche and Umbria stand out for the highest shares of paid visits. The lowest percentages are instead recorded in Sardinia and Sicily. Furthermore, even those with a low social status (46.8 percent) undergo paid visits. Visits and private checks are used above all for trust in the doctor or in the reference structure (71.5 per cent and 55.0 per cent respectively). Confidence in healthcare remains the main reason for resorting to public facilities as well (53 per cent for specialist visits and checks). The number of visits made has increased by 16.7 per cent in the last five years and mainly involved people over seventy-five (+36.7 per cent).
The number of generic visits grew by 20.5 percent and that of specialist visits by 10.5 percent. The overall increase in visits occurs in more than half of the cases for repetition of prescriptions, in 917,000 cases for illness and 895,000 for health checks. Among specialist visits, dental visits are more numerous (26.9 per cent), followed by orthopedics (11.4 per cent), ophthalmology (10.8 per cent) and cardiology (9.5 per cent). Above all, urological visits (+35.4 per cent), cardiological visits (+34.3 per cent), geriatric visits (+33.0 per cent) and dietetic visits (+32.8 per cent) increased. As far as specialist checks are concerned, 21 percent are done for a fee. Lazio, Puglia, Marche and Sicily are the regions in which specialist checks are most frequently entirely the responsibility of citizens.
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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco