Saturday, 28 August 2010

Public Italian health offices

After my encounter with the stupid doctor, I realised that I would have to get myself and new doctor pretty quick. To get a new doctor you have to go to the ASL offices which is where they issue Italian health care cards (tessera sanitaria.) Our local office was in a village close by, so off we set. We were actually going to ASL for another reason altogether and were waiting in this random office trying to figure out which room to go to. Italian public buildings are a nightmare to navigate. I thank god everyday for having my bel fidanzato to assist me with making life in Italy easier. There are either no signs, or so many signs that they don't make sense.


People were just hanging out in the corridor of this old, ASL building, there was no sense of system, no numbers, no one to ask for help. It is just a corridor like any other, a building like any other After hanging around a bit, bel fidanzato asked a few people before getting pointed to the right door. (You always have to ask multiple people here as everyone gives you a different answer.) We walked through the door and a simple office was in front of me. I have yet to see a fancy public office in Italy! They are all the same and filled with a nondescript table, old boxish computer, billions of cords running here there and everywhere, and some mismatched chairs.

I had been in this ASL office a year or two before when we originally got my health cards sorted. Whilst waiting our turn I looked at the list of local doctors in surrounding villages and saw that some of them were women. Hmm..interesting. Our turn came and we asked our question which ended up having nothing to do with that office. I then asked the man behind the computer if I could change my doctor since I was already here - why not? He looked at me and asked "you're the Australian, aren't you?" I was thrilled! I felt a little famous as it had been a good year or two since I'd been in the office, and even then I had only been once! Yes! I am the Australian and I want to change doctor. Ok, which doctor do you want? I got up and walked over to the list. This doctor I said, randomly choosing a female from the village next to mine.Ok, done.

And it was as simple as that.

I floated out of the office, feeling very happy with myself for changing doctors, and more happy that this man had remembered me. In the car bel fidanzato brought me back down to earth and told me not to think that I was so special and memorable, as come on...really...how many Australians pass through that office? Whatever! So I may the only Australian in the entire region but who cares. He remembered me and that is all that I care about.

6 comments:

LindyLouMac said...

Well that was a relief, much easier than you expected :)

Cathy said...

Fingers crossed that your new lady doctor is an improvement on the old doctor.

Gil said...

I totally agree with the prior post! Best of luck...

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Good luck with the new doctor. A friend of mine recently had to change doctors in Italy because her strictly catholic doctor refused to give her the pill. I understand that everyone has their opinion and beliefs but surely if you're a doctor you should be required to give out birth control no matter what your personal beliefs are. It makes me mad thinking about it. My doctor fortunately is lovely and very open minded.

Leanne in Italy said...

Hi LindyLouMac,
Yes, it really was much easier then i thought.


Hi Cathy,
The new lady doctor already seems to be 1000 times better then the other doctor.

Hi Gil,
Thanks!

Hi Sarah
I can't believe that doctors are allowed to practice if they want to enforce their own religious views onto others...

Sarah in deepest, darkest Lomellina said...

I just changed to a female doc too, so far so very good.

But the female ped is a flaming nightmare. and there are no other peds in the surrounding area, so I might see if they will let me change my son now aged ten over to my doc.

I'm one of the vanishingly rare expats in this area...but in ASL or similar they seem to greet me universally with "oh ...you are THAT Englishwoman"

Ermmmm...have they been speaking to the school or soemthing cos my rep for being trouble seems to have been trailblazing ahead of me.

opps