Govt takes action to cut health system waiting lists

Premier Giorgia Meloni’s government on Tuesday is examining a decree and a bill with a series of measures aimed at cutting waiting lists for national health system services.

Regional governments will be obliged to set up single ‘CUP’ booking centres for people to reserve appointments and monitoring of waiting lists will be assigned to the national agency for regional health services, AGENAS, with a health care control inspectorate and services offered at weekends if necessary, according to a draft of the decree seen by ANSA.

Under the bill, a draft of which ANSA has also seen, a national register for citizens to report inefficiencies and problems with services will be set up and health workers doing overtime to bring down the waiting lists will get a 20% increase in their hourly pay and tax for them will be brought down to 15%.

The bill also sets aside 100 million euros for clinics to bring in specialists in order to reduce the waiting lists.

The bill features stick as well as carrot.

The regional governments will set health agency managers annual waiting-list targets and those who fail to meet them risk 12-month suspensions, according to the draft.

It will be possible for health agencies to use junior doctors who are in training to become specialists for up to 10 hours each week to contribute to the waiting-list-reduction drive.