Rising Private Health Costs and Inequality: A Concerning Trend in Italy 

Private health and welfare costs are rising, leading to an increase in social inequality, according to experts from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) who spoke at a recent Italian Senate Social Affairs Committee meeting. Cristina Freguja, from ISTAT’s centralized Department of Social Statistics and Welfare, notes that low-income workers bear the brunt of private healthcare costs, while high-income earners are more likely to have access to private insurance through their employers. Freguja’s report indicates that in 2021, total spending on healthcare in Italy was around 168 billion euros, with 75.6% borne by the public, 21.8% directly payable by families, and 2.7% supported by voluntary funding schemes. 

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