No, This Country Can't Work (Like This)

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Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

Articolo in italiano a questo indirizzo

Last Monday, I went to the hospital for a check-up, scheduled and booked months in advance by the doctor who had previously examined me. Everything went smoothly, and the visit ended in a few minutes. The doctor filled out a form by hand, attached the prescription, and wrote some notes (check marks on a grid) about the service provided. w "Alright, with this form you can go to the CIP (Internal Booking Center, not to be confused with the CUP, Unique Booking Center) to get the payment form." So I went to this office. A machine that dispenses numbers (but no one in line), and two employees ready to assist me. I handed in the form, they entered the data, threw away the form previously filled out by the doctor, printed some papers, gave me one, and kept the others for themselves. "Now you can go pay, but since they also prescribed you another service, you need to go to the CUP to book it. It's on the other side of the hospital."

I went to the other side of the hospital to book it. The hospital is large, and it took me about ten minutes. There was no one in line. More forms were collected, more were printed. "Can I pay here?". "No, you have to go to the automatic totem, but the one nearby is broken. Try looking around, there are several."

Long story short, for a ten-minute visit, I went to two different counters and had to search for a totem to pay. Ten minutes for the visit, more than half an hour of bureaucracy.

Why couldn't the doctor immediately make the payment form - as it happens when you have visits in the hospital but as a private practitioner? Why keep two offices (empty), two machines for numbers, heating, computers, printers, etc. (and related maintenance) for such a bureaucratic procedure? Why not combine CIP and CUP, at most adding a counter to the second, since there are many closed in a definitely oversized room?

These are the questions that many of us ask ourselves daily when dealing with public administration.

There is a complete lack of optimization. Every time they talk about simplification, dematerialization, or reform, I shudder. Because I know that to do so, commissions and expert pools (at a high price) will be created, often made up of people used to managing bureaucratic procedures, not the actual functioning of the service. People used to inventing and approving steps and archiving forms. What's behind those forms is purely secondary.

There is an abyssal distance between those who define the procedures, those who move the papers, and the actual functioning of a public service. And those who decide often have no idea what really happens in the "real world".

A radical change in the management of bureaucracy and public services is needed. Unnecessary obstacles must be eliminated, the number of steps reduced, and procedures streamlined. But how? The solution could be to directly involve those who work in the field and are familiar with the daily reality of the services. Only with their input and experience will it be possible to identify inefficiencies and work to improve the system.

It's time to question old methods and find innovative solutions to make our country more efficient and functional. To do this, greater collaboration between the various parties involved is essential, as well as the willingness to listen and learn from those who experience the difficulties of the public system daily.

Bureaucracy must not be an obstacle but a tool to improve the quality of services offered to citizens. To achieve this goal, we must be ready to change and question old habits. Only in this way can we transform our country and make it a place where public administration works at its best, for the benefit of all.

Written and posted by: Stefano Marinelli

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