Two new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on automatic access to social rights in Belgium and the national healthcare system in Italy.
On 26 March 2020, the Belgian government decided to put in place a system allowing the automatic identification of potential beneficiaries of increased reimbursement of healthcare costs. The decision is part of a broader approach aiming to reduce non-take-up of benefits. It builds on extensive academic research on the positive impact of automation of access to social rights, such as strengthening the effectiveness of social policy and reducing non-justifiable inequalities and hard-to-cure poverty.
The Italian national healthcare system has provided and continues to provide a good quality of care. However, it has three weak points which have become critical with the current COVID-19 pandemic: its limited financial resources, the excessive workload of health professionals (doctors, nurses and other professionals), and inequalities in access to services.