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.
Contrary 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 window.
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 U.S.L. - Unita'
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.
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 U.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 service.
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
Liberation Ventures Ltd.