After the VERY LONG process of getting my Resident's Permit, we agree that it is much easier to have a baby in Italy and then register with the U.S. Consulate than the other way around. For this reason alone, we are very grateful that we did not have to go through with registering a child. (especially when he/she would be a dual citizen)
And now, our adventure begin!
No... not the adventure of having a child.....
I'm talking about..... Insurance, Doctor's Appointments & Hospitals
In other words.... NATIONAL HEALTH CARE!!
Yes! Lucky me.. and you, because I will be documenting almost everything! Let's just say that I HOPE AND PRAY that there will be a solution to the President's push for National Health Care. Not that things will end up like it is in Italy, but it just might.
Now, I'm not going to go into detail about Doctor's fees and bills and Insurance, blah, blah, blah.... BUT as someone who has worked in the medical field and has SEEN AND DEALT with Insurance payments/collection (for a Family Practice office), let's just say that I wouldn't be surprised if there are layoff in the Medical Field. (which would be a first)
Anyway, back to the subject. Let me take you to the beginning... (kind of) When I got to Italy and had all of my paperwork finalized, I then had to go to an office (that i can't remember) and register for my Codice Fiscale. (kind of like your SSN) With that, I was able to get my Doctor's Assignment. Since Carlo and his family already have a doctor, we requested that Doctor for me as well. And just like that.... I'm in the Health System.
I had been to Dr. B (what he will be referred to from now on) with Carlo and met him. He's awesome! He speaks really good English so, I was really comfortable knowing that I could go alone and not have any problems. He reviewed my medical records and will be taking care of me from now until he's too old to practice. What I like most is that he's very honest.. and funny. When Carlo mentioned that I work in the Medical field, Dr. B immediately said that "Everything in the States is much easier. Here in Italy, we are paid by the government and Doctors do not make enough to have a staff. That is why it is only me."
Oh.. did I forget to tell you?!?!
The Doctor's office:
-Ring the buzzer of the main door to be let in.
-Walk into the building and go to the office.
-Go to the waiting room where there are only chairs and a table with magazines. Make sure you ask who was the last person. (that's right.. no appointments- it's first come, first serve)
-When the person before you comes out of the Doctor's office, that's your cue to go in.
-Have a seat in front of the Doctor's desk and take a look around. Notice all of the drug samples, posters on the wall, the bathroom and wait... what's that behind you... a partition and an exam table!!
That's it.. no staff, no assistant. Just you.. and Dr. B! If someone rings the buzzer, it's the Doctor that let's you in. If someone calls, the machine will pick up and you'll leave a message. The best part is.... he's only there for 2 hours every day. Monday -Friday. The other times, he's at another office or at the hospital.
Luckily, I haven't had to wait too long to see him. Although, I must say that right now.. I really wish I was back in the U.S., because if I have a question, I know I can always call my doctor's office and talk to a nurse and she will call me back by the end of the day. Here, I have to walk 25 minutes, wait for who knows how long, just to ask 3 questions and be done in 5 minutes!
But that's Italy!