Aventino
Medical Group

Health and Health Resources in Rome

 

Emergencies: Generally speaking it's a good idea to try and call us first. See practitioners' pages for emergency numbers

Ambulances (tel. 118) will take you to the nearest public hospital emergency room and should be called immediately in all absolute emergencies, especially severe chest pain that could be a heart attack. In less dire cases try first to call us—there may be one best hospital for your case (S. Eugenio for severe burns, for example, and the Spallanzani for severe influenza).

If you can't reach us in an emergency but are able to take a car or taxi, the Policlinico Gemelli on Monte Mario, the Policlinico Umberto I beyond the train station, the San Camillo behind Monteverde (a center of excellence for heart disease), and the Bambino Gesù children's hospital on the Gianicolo hill are public hospitals equipped to handle all true emergencies.

Centers of excellence for heart disease in 3 corners of Rome:

San Camillo hospital, Circonvallazione Gianicolense, 87 (center-south)

San Pietro hospital, Via Cassia, 600 (north)

San Filippo Neri hospital, Via Martinotti, 20 (west)

Poison center hotlines: Policlinico Gemelli: 06 3054343; Policlinico Umberto 1: 06 49978000

Although several private hospitals have small intensive care units and can treat many acute problems, neither the Rome American Hospital nor any other "casa di cura" (or "clinica") has a real emergency room. The Salvator Mundi International Hospital on Via delle Mura Gianicolensi, tel. 06 588961, probably comes the closest.

Pharmacies: Most pharmacies follow usual Italian shopping hours, but many, including the Farmacia Santa Sabina on Viale Aventino, are open 8:30 AM to 7: 30 or 8 PM without a break, and several (one is on Via Arenula) stay open all night. The pharmacist will normally give you back the prescription after filling it, so we write your instructions in whatever language you prefer. Watch out when asking pharmacists for medical advice; they tend to be a bit free with medicines.

Special prescriptions: Almost all American and European medications are available here, though the brand name may be different. Not all pharmacies are fully stocked, so if you don't find something at one, try another. Be skeptical if a pharmacist says a medication is unavailable or "not made any more"; they may just be out of it. You can also ask them to look it up in the Informatore Farmaceutico, or try the Vatican Pharmacy (tel. 06 6989-0561).

Testing: Italian laboratories and outside consultants will by and large
expect immediate cash payment; go prepared. Results are usually picked up by the patient rather than being sent to your physician. A few of the testing facilities we use frequently:

Santo Volto Clinic, Piazza Tempio di Diana 12, tel. 06 5729921: you can arrange to have them send test results and x-rays directly to us
Salvator Mundi International Hospital, Via delle Mura Gianicolensi, tel. 06 588961; open and functioning all day (not just mornings); will fax results to us on your request; will come draw blood at your home if you're too ill to move
Centro Diagnostico, Via Pigafetta 1, tel. 06 571-071
Villa Margherita Clinica, Via di Villa Massimo, 48, tel. 06 4423-3146:
particularly excellent imaging department (x-rays, sonography, CAT scans, MRIs...)

Travel vaccines: Some, such as yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis, can be obtained only at a limited number of public clinics or ASL, where other vaccinations can also be done at low cost. One such clinic we can recommend is between the Termini train station and the university, on Via dei Frentani, 6; you need to phone 0677303588 between noon and 1 pm to take an appointment. Another clinic in the heart of Trastevere, at Via delle Fratte di Trastevere, 52, may take you without an appointment on Tuesdays or Thursdays, but I'd suggest confirming their hours at 06 58558505.

Health in Rome: Yes, you can drink the tap water, it's mostly from deep springs. Some infectious diseases (check your children's vaccinations), as well as hepatitis (watch out for raw shellfish), may be more common here than at home. The Tiber is badly polluted, and the beaches nearest Rome are barely less so. Expect to get more colds than usual soon after arrival; you have to build up immunity to the local viruses. Likewise you may suffer from diarrhea while your intestine gets used to Italian varieties of bacteria and to all that olive oil. Birth control and abortions are legal here. Finally, Rome is the allergy capital of the world.

Exercise: An Italian law used to require a medical certificate for anyone who wanted to join a gym or a pool. That's no longer legally required but be forewarned – many places insist on having one anyway, saying their insurance demands it. For older people this will include an ECG. Anyone doing competitive sports, even kids, needs a certificate from an official sport doctor (nobody in the AMG counts).

Mind and Soul in English:
Suicide hotline: the Samaritans, tel 800 860022
Alcoholics Anonymous: St. Paul's Church, Via Napoli 56, tel 06 4742913
Narcotics Anonymous, tel 06 860-4788
Overeaters Anonymous, tel 06 4743772; try 339 1466367 or go directly to Saint Paul's Church, Via Napoli 56 for information about English language groups. Meetings usually Wednesdays at 6.45 pm.
Support for cancer patients + their families: Ryder Italia, tel 06 860-4788
Yoga instruction, massage, Alexander technique, relaxation therapy...Don't hesitate to ask.

Special for Americans: the Affordable Care Act and You
The Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare" )offers major improvements over the status quo (no exclusions or higher premiums for preexisting conditions, cap on out-of-pocket spending to eliminate medical bankruptcy, free preventive care, obligatory coverage of prescription drugs and mental health, subsidies to help lower-income people pay for insurance...) but does require most Americans to have health insurance or else pay a penalty. Not expats, though. As summarized by Consumer Reports.org:
Q. Do Americans living abroad have to buy U.S. health insurance?
A. Not until you return home
Q. I am an American citizen but have lived abroad for the past eight years. Do I have to enroll in a U.S. insurance plan because of the new health law? I carry insurance in the country I live in.
A. No, you don’t have to buy anything as long as you are living in another country. The IRS has stated that if you live abroad for a calendar year (or at least 330 days within a 12-month period), it will treat you as if you have the required “minimum essential coverage” regardless of your actual
health insurance situation. However, if you move back to the U.S. you’ll need to get yourself some insurance as soon as possible through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace. You can do this even if it’s not the annual
open enrollment period (this year only it started Oct. 1 and ends March 31 but in subsequent years will run from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7). A permanent move, whether from another country or within the U.S., gives you a “special enrollment opportunity” at any time of year.

Via Sant'Alberto Magno, 5 - 00153 Rome, Italy
tel./fax (+39) 06 5780738
hours: Monday-Friday 9 AM - 7:30 PM

email: info@aventinomedicalgroup.com
©2011 Aventino Medical Group