Thursday, May 3

Tante Belle Cose: Rome Healthcare Edition or Need a Doctor in Rome?

This month, I'd like to focus on getting good healthcare in the Bel Paese.  I often get calls from frantic parents whose kids are studying abroad, to friends who need a dentist, to fellow expats who just want a checkup and don't want to wait 9 months to do so.  So, in my April Edition of Tante Belle Cose in Italy, here's my healthcare checkup on Italy which is filled with fairly good things.

First and foremost, my friend and fellow author, Fabrizio Blini, brilliant wordsmith and sadistic satirist when it comes to all things Italian, launched his new book lambasting the Italian Hospital System: Storie di ordinaria corsia (in Italian).  After a motorino accident, he was in & out of hospital for months on end.  With his incredible  wit and indefatigable plays on words, you'll be assured a good laugh at his expense.  But, hey, Laughter is the best medicine...
Fabrizio's previous book - a scientific breakdown of the types of Italian mammas - will have you ROFL: “Mamma Mia! La mamma as a deterrent in the cultural, social & economic development of modern Italy” (in Italian only).  My alter ego edited a bilingual edition of the book for language learners (with only some of the words highlighted) for a U.S. company called Linguality.  
CAVEAT EMPTOR:  Do not purchase online from Linguality or you will never see your money nor your book again!  But editions are out there for sale on the web if you want to give it a go.
If you can read in Italian, buy both books in Italian on ibs.it or amazon.it and, for more fun reading, check out the Irreverent Italy tab (and Amazon bookstore) on my blog page.
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For those traveling in Rome and find you're in a mishap and need some fast medical attention, my advice (if you have a choice in the matter and are not rushed to a nearby hospital, where in any case, the care is usually hit or miss), would be to head over to the Aventino Medical Group right near the Circus Maximus.  They speak English, although you will still need to go round to other public hospitals or places to try your hand at getting x-rays. For a complete list of int'l doctors in Rome, check out this site:  AdoreRome.com .  
CAVEAT EMPTOR:  Do not bother your Embassy unless there's a body to bring home.  Seriously.  Our public offices are not American Express Travel centers (which wouldn't help you either).  I mean, would you knock on the White House door if you broke a leg in Washington, DC? [of course, with ObamaCare maybe you can do just that - but in 2014 and only if the Supreme Court doesn't rule against it in the interim].  But your Embassy or Consulate offices may be able to provide a list of English-speaking professionals just to get you out of their hair.
You will further note that Adore Rome's list doesn't include the Rome American Hospital, a joint venture with a Nashville institute.  I recall on a visit there that neither info nor personnel was in English, although most hospitals in Rome do their best to provide English-speaking medical assistance.  Unfortunately, by my GPS, this prestigious place seems to be located closer to Nashville than to Rome.  
I might also add that I sauntered into the public Eastman Dentistry Institute in Rome once, founded by one George Eastman (of Kodak fame).  They wouldn't take my kind (errr...Americans), even as a paying patient.  However, if you happen to be of any other extraction on earth rather than North American, they have an international receiving center for patients (esp for those from developing countries).  George is still rolling over in his grave over this one.
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And finally, if you're an expat and simply want a checkup, I have come across an excellent and thorough service being provided by Rome's Red Cross (Croce Rosso).  Called Progetto Donna or Progetto Uomo, you spend a half-day there getting every type of exam known to man.  Depending on the day you go, they also throw in specialist exams such as Endocrinology (Thyroid), Dermatology, or Eye exams.  
CAVEAT EMPTOR:  Their website is useless, their telephone rings off the hook (best to call at 8am sharp for an appt), you can't reserve via email, and the info you need prior to your visit you will find only on the day of your appt (like don't eat b'fast, etc. etc.). So, you might want to stop in first and pick up an overcopied flyer for the full scoop.


And of course, to avoid the doctor altogether...try an apple a day which, according to the Italians:  Una mela al giorno leva il medico di torno.

1 comment:

Francesca Maggi said...

I just discovered an x-ray place a stone's throw from the Pantheon on via Giustiniani...
So, that could also solve that question as well. I think you have to make appts., but they just took an emergency case for a friend yesterday!