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Italian Health Care System

Discussion in 'Health and Education' started by dannyboy, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. For those of you who live in Italy, how would you describe the healthcare system. Is it good? Is it bad? It is a little bit of both?
  2. In general I have found it to be good. Luckily, I have not had to use it that much but my family doctor is very good and have never had to wait too long to see him in times of need. The family doctor is free service and really can't complain.

    If you need to see a specialist doctor then you may have to pay a ticket fee. The problem is that these ticket fees have increased over the years and sometimes it quicker and cost the same to use a private clinic than the national health service.

    For emergency health care you do not need to pay as it's an emergency but this is usually for EU citizens only and for anyone else you will probably need some kind of medical insurance.
  3. From my own experience I can say that the health system is overall OK. Not great, but OK.
    I have a family doctor, for free, like Chillout mentioned, and I had to use his services only once in 5 years.

    As for the hospital, I was brought to emergency only once. Actually, I walked there myself :D The problem was that it was like 4:30 in the morning and I had to wait for the doctor to come at 6 o'clock! Did I mention I was in pain !?

    Eventually, the MD who was on the ambulance walked by and took care of the problem.
    The good thing was that first, the ambulance doctor usually cares about people and second, if there's an emergency, you don't have to pay a ticket.

    I think that's a great thing, I even read their poster regarding tickets. There are some health problems that are free of charge, others which you have to pay for, depending on the seriousness of the situation.
  4. I agree with the others, overall OK, at least in the North where I've used it.

    I did an operation at my right shoulder some years ago (it was displacing after an incident while I was driving a scooter) without paying anything and I got a really good result.
  5. Luca, sorry to hear about your shoulder but i's great that things turned out fine.

    As I see it, the emergency services are quite OK, it only depends on who is in the hospital (not all nurses and doctors are equally nice and caring).
    Even my experience turned out to be quite OK, but I had to wait for the doctor on call to be free to come visit me. He could have said "she can wait for the other doctor, I am going to take a nap now" but instead he came and gave me some medicine to take away the pain.
  6. This is very interesting to hear. I always have valued the European Healthcare system particularly because the healthcare system here in America is just horrible. It is amazing that there are so many free options, as mentioned above, such as a free family doctor, and emergency services. Currently, even with Obamacare we still have to pay a pretty penny, and purchase a healthcare plan. Not to mention, wait for hours, or even months due to the overcrowding at hospitals and respective clinics. Most likely due to the high level of hypochondriacs out here. Although, six hours to wait in an emergency seems like quite a breeze compared to the 12 hour wait periods I've heard about in LA.

    Also, a bit curious to know how the healthcare system in Italy differs from North to South. I noticed someone mentioned above that healthcare in the North was okay, but nothing about the South.
  7. Oh, wow, waiting so many hours for an emergency is awful! If I had to wait so long, while in pain, I would definitely faint after a while.

    I don't know about the differences from North South, since I've never been in South Italy, but from what I hear, everything's worse in the South, there are more employment problems, the salaries are lower, people are less civilized, ecc., ecc. But, these are all things we hear, until you experience the real thing, opinions can be subjective :)

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