The boy’s mother went to book her son in for an appointment at the booking office of an outpatient clinic, in the Massa Carrara area of Tuscany, on the orders of a paediatrician.
“I wanted to sign a declaration saying that I would pay the bill when I picked up the test results, but I was told that it wasn’t possible,” she was quoted as saying in Corriere della Sera.
The woman thought she would be exempt from the €38 fee as she earns less than €36,000 annually, but without having cash immediately available the boy was unable to undergo tests.
The doctor responsible for the outpatient clinic, Enrico Raggi, said in such a situation the child “should certainly have been allowed” to be tested.
“If this is how it really happened, the employees were wrong,” Raggi was quoted as saying, adding that staff should have let the woman pay later.
A similar episode happened in the same area in January 2013, when a woman couldn’t afford to pay for her sick daughter’s blood tests. On this occasion a nurse paid the €40 bill, Corriere said.