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Is Socialized Healthcare Causing Italy’s High Coronavirus Death Rate?

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:39 PM
William Ebbs
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:39 PM
  • Italy’s coronavirus death rate is the highest in the world at 8.33% and the percentage is rising by the day.
  • Italy’s healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world — so what is going wrong?
  • Some speculate that socialized healthcare could be causing Italy’s high death rate. Authorities may start leaving elderly people to die to make room for younger patients.

Italy’s coronavirus nightmare is getting worse by the day.

On Tuesday, the southern European nation recorded a staggering 4,207 new cases of the deadly coronavirus and 475 fatalities . This brings the total number of confirmed infections to 37,713 and the number of deaths to 2,978.

These numbers give Italy the highest coronavirus case fatality rate in the world with 8.33% of confirmed infections ending in death.

Italy’s high coronavirus death rate is raising suspicion, with many fearing that socialized medicine is to blame. But that doesn’t explain why death rates have remained so low in Germany and other European nations that employ a similar healthcare system.

Coronavirus Pandemic Sweeping Europe

Europe has become the most coronavirus-hit area outside of East Asia. | source John Hopkins

Although Covid-19 originated in central China, the pneumonia-causing virus is quickly making Europe its new home. Six of the ten hardest-hit countries are located on the continent. 

Europe has now recorded more deaths than mainland China.

Despite the wide penetration of coronavirus in Europe, the pandemic is affecting different European countries differently, and this raises questions about the effectiveness of their healthcare systems. Italy remains the hardest-hit country with the highest death rate while Germany records a substantial number of cases with a much lower death rate.

These are the hardest-hit countries in Europe: 

  • Italy: 35,713: 8.33% death rate
  • Spain: 13,910: 4.48% death rate
  • Germany: 12,327: 0.23% death rate
  • France: 9,052: 1.64% death rate

Twitter Blames Socialized Medicine

Some American observers believe Italy’s socialized healthcare system could be to blame for the high number of deaths. Charlie Kirk, author of a book called “The Maga Doctrine”, had this to say to his 233,000 followers on Twitter: 

Kirk believes socialized medicine is to blame for Italy’s high death rate. | Source Twitter.com 

Some point to new policies coming from the Italian government that suggest people age 80 or older will not receive intensive care if this crisis worsens — basically, they will be allowed to die.

The document states: 

Should it become impossible to provide all patients with intensive care services, it will be necessary to apply criteria for access to intensive treatment, which depends on the limited resources available

Spain, which has recently moved to nationalize its healthcare system, may also employ a similar top-down socialist approach to control its coronavirus outbreak. The death rate in Spain is steadily climbing with 4.48% of confirmed infections ending in death so far.

The Jury is Still Out on Socialized Healthcare

The highly fatal coronavirus outbreaks in Spain and Italy are a very bad look for socialized medicine, especially as healthcare becomes a hot-button issue on the campaign trail. Many Americans would probably object to the idea of a government official having the power to take an elder relative off a ventilator to make room for someone else.

But the jury is still out on whether or not America’s healthcare system will be better able to handle a coronavirus pandemic. Some Twitter users suggest the United States will fare worse than Italy when the full impacts of the virus hit its shores.

Will America’s free market system do better than Italy’s socialist system? | Source Twitter.com 

It’s also important to note that countries like South Korea and Germany have been able to successfully manage their outbreaks despite having socialist healthcare systems. This suggests Italy’s high death rate could be the result of government incompetence more than anything else.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.