So Carlo had an accident, remember? He was knocked off his bike, broke his leg, was whisked off by ambulance, but the first hospital was full so he was taken to another. As he lay on the stretcher in the ambulance a handful of ‘necessary important documents’ were thrust into his hands (Italians love any excuse to produce a load of paperwork).
Now, five months later one of those documents has been declared ‘illegible’ and all action being taken on this case has been halted until the document is tracked down and a new copy is produced.
Hewas instructed to go back to the first hospital that he was taken to and ask for another copy of this document. Which, this morning we did. At the hospital we were informed that the document in question had been sent to a different hospital, one that we never even visited. The helpful man sitting behind a desk, chewing on a toothpick informed us that:
“You have to go to the hospital where the document is to make an appointment to get a copy of it.
Bear in mind that when you make an appointment to get a copy of a document you will have to pay for the privilege of having an appointment.
You will then have to wait up to 40 days for the scheduled appointment.
Oh, and next time you have an accident, you’ll know to stay lucid enough to make sure all your documents are correct and legible before you get moved into another hospital……
Eh, unfortunately that’s how the system works.”
We got back in the car. Carlo was quiet for a while as he mulled over the situation. It then dawned on him that just because a Doctor had really bad handwriting which nobody could decipher, he would have to spend his precious days off work driving around a selection of hospitals in South Italy, tracing down a stupid piece of paper and having to pay for it…Why couldn’t the hospital simply post a copy to the insurance company, saving us time, money and mileage?
So please do be aware, if you ever have an accident in Italy, no matter how hurt, no matter how unconscious or in pain you are, remember to check that your important documents are written in a nice and tidy handwriting, and if not, stop that ambulance, halt that operation and insist that the Doctor write it out again nicely, in his best handwriting, OK?