Marche for a long & healthy life
Not surprisingly in
paradise possible, the Marche has one of the highest rates of longevity in
the world and the word "youngster" often seems to include the
over-70's. But should you fall ill, you will find yourself in good hands
whether as a tourist or a resident.
to popular opinion, the Italian public health service, at least in the
Marche, works well. A modern, well-run network of hospitals covers the whole
region and even in the most out-of-the-way corners you'll never be far from
emergency treatment should you need it.
In the event of serious illness or injury, head for the 24-hour first aid, pronto
soccorso, at any hospital. For minor aches and pains make straight for
the farmacia, or pharmacy. They keep normal shop hours and can be
spotted by a green cross outside; they also operate an emergency 24-hour
service on a rotating shift basis, details of which are displayed in the
European Union tourists should carry the E111 form entitling them to
reciprocal health care in other EU states. In practice, the bureaucratic
fuss involved in using the E111 (make for the local A.S.L. - Azienda
Sanitaria Locale - office if you need to use it) makes it only
worthwhile if you need costly treatment. Travellers can also try contacting
the new Travel Medicine centre run by the Ancona Health Authority to
help tourists and pilgrims visiting the area. Contact them by phone on 071
596 5547 or by fax on 071 596 5544.
If you decide to live in the Marche you will have to sign up with a local
general practitioner (medico di famiglia) through the local A.S.L. office
and if you are earning you'll have to pay your regular "national
insurance" contributions (INPS in Italian). Unless you are elderly or
chronically ill, you'll have to pay a relatively small contribution for
prescriptions, laboratory analyses and hospital out-patient treatment.
Dental treatment and opticians in the Marche, as in much of Italy, are
excellent but can be expensive and are not covered by the public health
Since the days of Ancient Rome, Italians have been keen believers in
the curative effects of "taking the waters" and the Marche boasts
a number of spa towns - you can even get your doctor to prescribe a course
of treatment at a spa, although you'll have to pay the accommodation bill.
Spa towns in the region include Acquasanta Terme and Sarnano in the south,
Tolentino and Fermo in the centre and Carignano Terme near Fano in the north
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