Thursday, October 15, 2009

Medical mysteries


I've decided to attempt to go back to the gym and the biggest hurdle so far hasn't been the physical effort but rather the bureaucratic effort! For those of you who don't know, Italian gyms require all members to present a "certificato di idoneità non-agonistica" or "certificato di buona salute/ di sana e robusta costituzione" (I'm still not sure what the difference is) which basically assures them that you won't croak while on the treadmill.
The gym manager told me the "certificato di idoneità non-agonistica" would cost 40 euro but the "certificato di buona salute/ di sana e robusta costituzione" would be free and would suffice. So I went to my public doctor (after going there two times only to find the office closed because he changed visiting hours again) and asked for this certificate. He filled out the form, stamped it (oh how Italians love their stamps), and asked for 20 euros. No EKG, no listening to my heart/lungs, no measuring of blood pressure, nothing. I gave him a 20 euro bill which he stuffed into his pocket. I'm perplexed 1) Wasn't it supposed to be free? This is public health care afterall. I asked and he said no. 2) Did my public doctor just evade taxes? I didn't ask but seeing as I got no receipt and there's no record of this transaction, I think it's safe to say my doctor got paid under the table.
Since I'm a total freakshow, I called the ASL hotline when I got home to try and find out what the deal is with these certificates. I called 3 times and got 3 different answers. First time: the certificates should be entirely free unless I'm training as a professional athlete (which I'm not). Second time: the certificate costs 20 euros. Third time: the certificate costs 40 euros.
So either I got a discount, I paid the right amount, or I got shafted... guess I'll never know!

4 comments:

carrieitly said...

I'd say either way you were shafted. It's such an obnoxious procedure. Thankfully my gym allowed us to work out before we'd gotten the documents, saying just bring them in when we could. We never bothered and they never remembered!

Romerican said...

I agree, it's the most senseless piece of paper. Unfortunately this gym is new & trying to appear serious so they insisted on having the document before. Oh well....

Kataroma said...

wow that's just nuts. :( Good excuse not to go to the gym.

Sarah said...

I just remembered I never went and got mine. It's been two years at the gym now and they seem to have forgotten.

Which is just as well as everytime I go to the doc he sends me to pronto soccorso having told my husband I could drop dead any minute. Only to get there and be white coded cos there is evidently nothing wrong with me. Apart from shock caused by Mario doing 150km per hour in terror of being left with a house, a zoo and a son but no wife to run the whole show.