Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Health-care bill passes Senate unaltered from House version


Rome, October 31 - The Italian Senate on Wednesday
approved the government's health-care bill unaltered from its
form that passed in the House on October 18.
The bill sets out to increase access to health care, curb
the effects of soft drinks, as well as reduce gambling and
smoking among minors.
The ayes were 181 and the nays were 43, while 23 abstained
from voting.
Before it was approved by the cabinet in September it was
sharply opposed by regional governments, labor unions and
lobbies representing gambling, tobacco and beverages.
Pared down in the House from 27 original articles to 16,
the bill aims to create a network of 24-hour clinics that would
increase access to general physicians while cutting overhead
Measures also include distancing gambling machines from
schools, places of worship and residences for the elderly by at
least 200 meters.
The bill aims to make the process of nominating hospital
directors more transparent.
A controversial tax on soft drinks was replaced with
measures pushing manufacturers to make 20% of the beverage with
fruit, and unpasteurized raw milk and fish will be banned from
school cafeterias.
A minimum 250-euro fine will be issued for selling tobacco
to minors and strict limits are to be put on advertising-related
Concerns about the constitutionality of some measures led
to their removal from the bill before it reached the House, said
government sources who admitted "the scope of the measures" was
less than initially expected.

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