Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Doctor's offices are evil!

The Italian Health system is a curious blend of public and private health services. We haven't figured out how Fabien's medical insurance quite works yet (everything is not only in legalese, but in Italian legalese!), however if you see a specialist doctor in the private sector (e.g. gynaecologist, pediatrician etc...) that doctor cannot prescribe tests for you.

What they will do is address a letter to your (public health service) general practitioner, who will then COPY it out onto special paper (informally referred to as "richesta" or "foglia rossa") and then you go to the hospital or test center for your blood test/urine test/X-ray/ultrasound scan - whatever! So much for added value at every step of the way...

Apart from being a bloody waste of time, it means you spend 45 minutes to an hour hanging around your GP's office with a whole bunch of people who are actually sick.

What happens next? You guessed it! I have got a flu right now from going to the doctor's office when I was absolutely healthy. I had to go there to get a "richesta" for a blood test to determine that I don't have toxoplasmosis! I could have just as easily told you that I DON'T have toxoplasmosis - But that would just have had been far too easy surely....




Anonymous said...

heya sharon,

Just dropping in and checking on my sister to see if she's ok, and apparently not too! Well, i'm sick too in bmore, and apparently so is the whole school, and office... and state... its just that time of the yr again... so don't feel too bad, ur not alone.

Also, as an aside, i got accepted into UC Berkeley!


clara said...

Chin up - health services all round the world are just as insane. I know hospitals / clinics in US who won't even see you if you don't have insurance.

As for your flu, just have tons of fruit juice, water and vitamins and you'll be as good as new. Rubbing tea tree oil on the chest and throat areas got me thru Freshers' Flu and countless of colds in UK.