What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
The hospital in Vasto offers pre-birthing classes, which are useful for meeting other moms-to-be, and for getting used to the hospital scene. Not so useful for really preparing you for birth. Most of the GYNs are highly qualified and the Obstetricians seem to be more like nurses, however, there are a couple of gyns who are hideous and do not treat patients with respect or understanding. The hospital is trying to update some of their equipment, allowing water births and such, but the basic equipment (iv sack racks, beds, bathrooms, monitors for tracking baby's heartbeat, etc.) are really out-of-date. All the rooms are shared with another patient. If you happen to give birth during a slow time you can pay a small amount of € and have a whole room to yourself. Husbands don't spend the night, babies are all kept in the nursery (still in the 50's?). I had to argue and sign off to accept all responsibility to keep my baby in the room with me so I could nurse her at night. I did not get any reports about the baby's health. She had jaundice and they suspected it and didn't tell me. I was all packed and ready to check out of the hospital after 3 days and they told me to go ahead and go but they were keeping the baby! I flipped and ended up staying another 3 days. I was getting no rest because they had left me the baby and didn't give me any breaks. They are very noisy, about 5 different people pass through your room every day banging stuff and cleaning stuff. Then the nurses are all chatting loudly in the hall right after lunch when you are trying to fall asleep. And, yes, you have to bring your own tp, silverware, wipes, baby clothes, pads, towels, extra blankets and pillows if you want them, etc. Obviously there are no phones for patients to use, so bring a cell phone. Oh, yes, and no epidurals or pain killers unless you are having a c-section.
Expat Health Insurance in Italy
Expats living in Italy interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.
How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?
Through recommendation of a friend. He was great. However, he decided to move his practice out of town a few months ago, and apparently patients are not privy to that info... you only find out through the grapevine or if one day you need to make an appointment and realize you have to find a new gyn.
If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?
I did everything within my power... the only thing I would do differently is to search for a really really really good friend or even someone who I could PAY to just HELP ME the whole time after the birth. (forgot to mention that I had my sister with me during the labour and birth and she was a star, but she was on the plane the day after the baby finally came! I am so glad she was there because the nurse and Obstetrician were half asleep and sitting in the corner chatting most of the time. The gyn just popped in once in a while to check on things.)
If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?
Just be ready for the unexpected and find someone who will advocate for you so that you will have full access to your rights to choose on all the issues like breastfeeding vs. bottles etc.
Healthcare in Italy
An overview of the healthcare system in Italy - public and private hospitals, Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), getting your Tessera Sanitaria (healthcare card), vaccinations for Italy, prescription medication availability and more.
An overview of the healthcare system in Italy - public and private hospitals, Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), getting your Tessera Sanitaria (healthcare card), vaccinations for Italy, prescription...
5 Expat Moms Talk about Having a Baby in Italy
5 expat moms offer candid insight into what it's like giving birth in Italy - from bringing towels and toilet paper with you to the hospital to being refused pain medication. And, like most advice in Italy, word of mouth is the best way to find a good OB/GYN.
5 expat moms offer candid insight into what it's like giving birth in Italy - from bringing towels and toilet paper with you to the hospital to being refused pain medication. And, like most advice in...
9 Healthcare & Health Insurance Tips for Expats in Italy
Expats in Italy share tips and advice about healthcare and health insurance in Italy. Advice about finding an English-speaking doctor, using The Sistema Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) and more.
Expats in Italy share tips and advice about healthcare and health insurance in Italy. Advice about finding an English-speaking doctor, using The Sistema Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) and more....
Italy Healthcare FAQ
Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about healthcare and health insurance for expats in Italy.
Healthcare in Arezzo, Italy
Get established with a local doctor before you actually need one--you will need a primary car doctor to refer you to specialists.
Healthcare in Italy
An expat in Italy discusses health care, pharmacies and health insurance costs. She explains that the cost of health insurance is nominal compared to the US and prescription medicine is very inexpens
Healthcare in Italy
To seek a university hospital and or doctors associate with one. To ask the locals for references.
Answer Questions about Healthcare in Italy
Help others moving to Italy by answering a set of questions about health insurance, public healthcare in Italy, prescription medicine, quality of medical care and emergency services.
I, after a wonderful time in Brittany, will be returning to Italy in late summer. This time to Chianti. Part of returning is the required bank business. I had an Italian account when I was in Sicily. Which I closed and replaced with a French account. Now I need to go back to an Italian account? There must be and is a better way. I looked at a few internet banks, including N26. What kept me from going with them is the simple matter of their not allowing direct deposits from the USA. It turns out that Transferwise is now licensed in most US states, I think 48 of them, which means they will setup a direct deposit system. Additionally using them, when they hold your money as a bank, makes the process of transferring money from your account to somebody else's in Europe simple, fast and cheap. I just paid a rent deposit to my future landlord in 24 hours and at a minimal cost and at a better exchange rate. I have not yet setup direct deposit, keeping my Schwab account. What I had to do is transfer money to Transferwise using my debit card. That took less than a minute.
I bring all this up because I think it simplifies finances as an expat. All the services needed, iban number, routing number, currency exchange, debit card is all available in one place and usable anywhere in Europe, in the states and many other countries. And they speak English and answer the phone when you call. It's a breath of fresh air compared to dealing with the Italian banks.
Post a Reply
Beware UniCredit Banca
Until recently if I used a UniCredit ATM with my US based ATM/Debit card, I was assessed a surcharge — maybe €2. These surcharges are still relatively rare here in Italy. I don’t ordinarily use this ATM but I was a block away trying to complete a transaction and unexpectedly needed €200. For convenience sake I was ready to pay the surcharge. However, no surcharge was disclosed. Instead I was notified of “today’s exchange rate”. I never saw this before and was initially confused. Eager to get back to my pending commercial transaction, I accepted the disclosure only to realize that UniCredit exchanged my €200 to USD at a markup of 3%. That €200 withdrawal cost me €6 — much more than a surcharge of €2. I wasn’t given an option to decline their money conversion trick. It was take it of leave it. So, let’s hope this isn’t a trend — identifying people using foreign cards upon whom to foist very unfavorable exchange rates at ATMs that ordinarily offer good rates of exchange. My US bank reverses ATM surcharges, but this wasn’t a surcharge. The transaction was delivered to my US bank in USD after UniCredit pocketed €6. It wasn’t much to pay for the learning experience, but I will be vigilant going forward. An aside: EBay plays the same game. Opt out of these money conversions. Let your ATM or credit card issuer convert the currency to dollars. It is nearly always the best consumer rate available to consumers.
Post a Reply
Looking for a commercialista
Buon giorno a tutti! I will be retiring in Italy in 2022. I am trying to organize my US retirement accounts now, but need advice from a commercialista as to which vehicle has greater or lesser impact from Italian taxes. This forum has such great advice and it’s been tremendously helpful, but I would like to have someone I can talk to one on one. Could someone recommend a commercialista in Florence or Arezzo? I hope to get there on vacation in October. Thank you in advance!
Post a Reply