Saturday, June 09, 2007


This is not a Mafia story but a medical one, I hasten to inform you: Yesterday I had to go for a blood test [just a check-up] and a friend had told me that, if you have this done at the hospital, you need to arrive there at 06.30 to get your numbered disc ready for when they start at 08.30. Even then, you could be waiting for 3 hours! Now, 06.30 is a time Welshcakes doesn't recognise, so when the same friend informed me that there is a place where you can have the test done privately between the more civilised hours of 07.30 - 09.30 I decided to do that. British readers may be interested to know that, although I am covered by the Italian health system now, everyone except those on a very low income has to pay for tests such as these. The price was exactly the same at the private clinic as it would have been at the hospital - 32 euros.

You also have to pay "il ticket" if you are seen at an outpatient clinic, normally about 20 euros. And the government has proposed charging for non-serious casualty [ER] visits, because some folk turn up at the Pronto Soccorso with the slightest injury, rather than going to their doctor. [This is unnecessary as you do not have to wait for days to see your GP here.] However, this measure has been judged unfair and it has now been decided to charge a nominal fee only for those who present with really trivial conditions or injuries. I should emphasise that there is absolutely no question of charging people who are involved in serious accidents or who are subsequently admitted to hospital.

"Swings and roundabouts": in Britain we don't pay for casualty visits, tests or outpatient appointments but prescription charges are much higher than here , though Liz has reminded me , this week, that prescriptions are now free in Wales. Cymru am byth!


Anonymous said...

Health care can be very confusing. In Germany, if you are on one of the programs, you now have to pay a 10 Euro for the first visit. If there are additional visits for the same ilness or injury, it's a one time charge. The doctors are not happy about this. They don't keep the money, but have to do the book keeping for it.

James Higham said...

All of this is way over my head, WCL. I hope it remains so because I don't fancy my chances here..

Liz Hinds said...

If I had to pay for a blood test I'd certainly never have one! Bad enough that I'm likely to faint!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Steve. Gosh, how confusing. That must be very irritating for the doctors . I guess they have to pay more staff to keep the accounts? James, sorry, but I don't understand your comment. Liz, I'm not squeamish, i'm glad to say; I don't mind paying here, but it does seem strange to a Brit!

Maria said...

Health Care is absurd I imagine where ever you are!

Here in the US it isn't much better. I have health insurance through my job but still each and every prescription or trip to the doctor costs $25 (american). Not much, no, but can add up quickly if you suffer from any recurring illness or allergies or bad luck!

Just pure non sense! How wealthy to this pharmeceutical companies need to be???


Lee said...

It would appear you and I are often on a similar wave-length, Welsh. I've got to go for a blood test, also...just for a check-up and have put it off for a couple of days...I'll get around to it one morning this week or next. Unlike there, here they take you in pretty much straight away...they open their doors at 7.30am.

jmb said...

The mysteries of the health care system are different in every country but still strange.

I don't know why anyone would go to Pronto soccorso either here or there for a triviality since you are triaged by severity of illness so have to wait a very long time for a trivial illness. Consequently you are exposed to a lot of really "sick" people and see a lot of things you would rather not see. But apparently plenty of people do, especially in the States where by law they can't turn you away.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, M. Those prescription charges sound very high to me! As you say, it must be hard if you have several conditions or a chronic illness. Hi, Lee. Funny how our lives seem to run inparallel now and again, isn't it? Hope you get yours done quickly and efficiently and that all is well. Jmb, I don't know why they do it either, given the waiting time. It's the same here: they can't turn you away.


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