status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage
There is a very blink-and-you-miss-it quality to much legislation in Italy and my most recent example of its fickle nature ran along the following lines:
Sometime in early December whilst visiting the local Azienda Sanitaria Local (ASL) in order to sign up with a general practitioner in the hope of getting some of my asthma medication subsidised (currently paying 70€ a month for just one of my inhalers)…
SV (taking a number): 197, the board says 160, so only 36 people between me and my goal. Great!
40 minutes later
SV: 197, the board says 179, only 18 people between me and my goal. Hrrumph.
35 minutes later
SV: 197, the board says 197. I guess that means it’s my turn. Unfortunately I seem to have lost the will to live.
ASL woman: I’m afraid rules for EU citizens have changed. You can no longer sign on with a doctor unless you have a work contract. If you do not have a work contract, you must go and sign on at the unemployment office and bring us the unemployment certificate in order to be put on a doctor’s list. We can then send you to an asthma specialist.
Sometime in early January (Yes, yes. It always take me a little while to get round to things) whilst visiting the local Centro per l’Impiego – Ufficio di Collocamento as was – in order to sign on…
SV (peering about her): There are no signs, no numbers and nobody to ask. I wonder if I’m in the right queue.
45 minutes later
Centro per l’Impiego man: I don’t know why ASL have sent you here, they’re not supposed to send people here anymore. Go back and tell them they shouldn’t have sent you here.
20 minutes later in the local ASL offices…
SV (taking a number): 207. 153 on the board. That would make it 53 people between me and my goal. I should have brought a book. War and Peace, perhaps.
70 minutes later
ASL man: I’m afraid rules for EU citizens have changed. You can no longer sign on with a doctor unless you have a work contract, even then, you will only be covered by the Italian healthcare system for as long as your work contract lasts. If you do not have a work contract, then you will have to pay for everything even if you are signed on at the employment office.
Well, what else could I say? I don’t currently contribute to the Italian healthcare system and haven’t lived here long enough to account for any significant contribution in the past.
I understand: public financial resources are not infinite, as we are all discovering to our cost, I JUST WISH THEY’D MAKE UP THEIR MINDS!!!!
This is Status Viatoris, for whom Pooch has valiantly offered to give up his dog biscuits and live entirely off scraps and titbits from the local shops and bars so she can afford her meds. He is sooooooo self-sacrificing that boy