13 March 2007

Now I can take up some extreme sports.

About 5 years too late, I've finally been and got my tessera sanitaria today. This health card allows me to register with a doctor and use the health system.

As always when attempting to do any kind of bureaucratic procedure here, I went armed with every document I have which could be vaguely related to signing up with a doctor, plus photocopies.

First, I went to the wrong building, no surprise at all there as it's not easy to understand exactly which office deals with what. Just a 10 minute walk to the right place though; I was soon back on track.

As soon as you get in these kind of places, the first thing you need to do is to spot a ticket machine and get your all important number. I headed straight to the first machine and took a number, but soon realised it was the wrong one. Frantically looking round for another machine I noticed one with a group of eastern Europeans around it and immediately knew that was the ticket machine for me. So I got my ticket, only 10 numbers to wait. They called my number...Come on down! In I went, and I had all the docs they needed. Miracolo! I was in there for no more than five minutes, mister timbro stamped my spanking new health card and I was done.

Well, so I thought, he told me to go down to room 23 so they could organise for a credit card style health card to be posted. However, when they inserted my tax code another address came up so I have to go to another office to get that changed. I didn't have the energy left to conquer another bureaucrazy hurdle today, so I'll put that off for a while. I kind of knew in my heart that it wouldn't go entirely to plan today, nothing like this ever does here. At least two trips are always involved. I will still consider today a success though as I have at least a doctor now and a lovely tessera sanitaria (see above).


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you finally got la tessera sanitaria.

How does the health system differ there from USA? Do you have to pay premiums/copay or is everything free?

Just wondering....

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you finally got la tessera sanitaria.

How does the health system differ there from USA? Do you have to pay premiums/copay or is everything free?

Just wondering....

Delina said...

If you are resident in Italy you can apply to use the health system. If you work here and pay contributions it's free to join, if you don't work I think you need to pay around 400euro to join.

As far as I know, you get free general Dr visits. To see specialised Drs you pay a considerably reduced price like 15euro and you get reduced price meds too.

This is what I know, but as I only enrolled yesterday, I have it all to find out really!

Kataroma said...

Delina - I enrolled at USL about 9 months ago and went to my nominated doctor - giving her that little slip of paper you have to give. But do I have to go back to USL to get my actual tessera sanitaria or do they just automatically mail it to me?

ARrrgh! Bureaucracy!!!

Delina said...

Kataroma, they gave me the tessera (as seen in the photo) straight away… I wasn’t given any slip of paper – unless you mean the above tessera which is like paper.

They should have authorised the sending of the credit card style tessera to my house, but because the computer came up with the wrong address it would have gone to the wrong place. Naturally, it wasn’t a case of her simply changing the address there and then.

The paper version is fine for within Italy, the credit card style is good for the rest of Europe.
I’m just a bit worried about my codce fiscale being linked to my old address.

I’m wondering if they didn’t check your address with you and it went to the address linked to your CF… Just an idea.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Delina - no it was an actual piece of paper with bits you could tear off. You gave two of these little tear off bits to your primary care doctor - and she is meant to send it back to USL so that I can get my credit card style card sent to me. However it's been several months since I did this and no card yet.

My codice fiscale address is the B&B address so I should have gotten it.

Well maybe I'll give them another 6 months or so and then go to USL again to enquire...


Delina said...

Mmmmh, it sounds like things work a bit differently in Rome.

It's probably just a question of waiting.

Giulia said...

Wohoo, I have both the plastic one and the one you have in your photo. Did it actually take 5 years for the whole process, or you just waited five years to apply?

Shirley said...

Umm I am really confused now too.Like Kataroma I have a paper slip which I show to the doctor then I get it back. I was actually wondering a while ago if I had to apply for a card, but I dont want to have to go through beaurocratic hoop again.

Delina said...

Giulia, it was 5 years before I decided to go and sign up with a doctor. It didn't take 5 years - fortunately :D
I am very envious of your plastic tessera!

I'm beginning to wonder if I should have a paper slip :S Don't tell me the doctor is going to ask to see this!!! Noooooooo!!

sognatrice said...

Must be a question of location--I only have a paper card (Campania's is pretty compared to Calabria's!) as well. They're allegedly sending me the credit card one, but it's only been a few months since I signed up, so I can't exactly expect miracles. I don't know anything of a little slips of paper, and I've already seen my primary and a specialist (I got an impegnativa from the doc to go to the specialist, but I didn't give anything to the primary).

Max said...

Ciao Sognatrice, ma, il primario al quale ti sei rivolta, era in ospedale o in uno studio medico?

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Wow, this sparked quite the little discussion!

In Rome it looks different than the one in your picture. We get a plain slip of paper about 1/4 the size of a regular sheet of copy paper. I've never had an actual card.

What never changes though is the bureaucrazy. I love how you go armed with every possible document imaginable, PLUS photocopies... that is SO me!! I have been doing the same thing for the past 3 years or so...it took me the first two years to learn my lesson.

Anonymous said...

i saw some comments re watching 6nations in napoli and i'm headed there next week to work/volunteer for two months...where can i watch 6nations rugby..all games in naples...and maybe some fitba' also
thanks riccardo