So I go to visit my new cardiologist and today the papers are full of healthcare stuff. My new guy is superb, good English and his hospital is linked to the Italian NHS so I can be delivered there if it is ever needed. Not only that he gave me a receipt with all the correct sticky stamps on and was cheaper then my previous guy who was working black.
He tells me that dialing 118 has improved out of all recognition as well contrary to popular opinion. Ambulances all have Tom Tom GPS and now have the necessary technology to send patient readings back to the hospital concerned as the patient is traveling with them for treatment.
That gelled with a report this morning saying that Puglia healthcare now matched all the developed nations except in the transportation of disabled people where problems with Municipal funding meant no transport was available. Hopefully any ride I take won’t be like this
Of course it’s not all sweetness and light. down in Brindisi they have arrested 20 nurses and 4 doctors for doing their shopping during working hours, seeing private patients on NHS time, have people check them in as working while they were on holiday. The list is fairly lengthy. They do plenty of arresting down here though. Yesterday 2 ambulance drivers were charged with manslaughter for not responding to a call for 50 minutes and the entire operating room staff were arrested after an operation went wrong and the patient died. Quite how many cases actually get to court and more importantly down here in what timescale ( the wheels of justice turn very slowly here in Italy ) I don’t know.
The weather went from summer yesterday to winter today thanks to some huge low system floating around Italy. 27C to 16C in 24 hours just in time to greet our new house guest friends as they came off Easyjet at Bari. not quite the Southern Italian weather they were expecting and the swimmers and beach towels remained in the suitcase. It is the Villa Castelli Festa today and tomorrow . Last year we wandered the streets in shirtsleeves at midnight tonight if we even go it will be dressed like eskimos though we shall be lending stuff to the house guests as like so many people coming here they didn’t really believe that it could be colder than than the UK in October.
I was explaining to them today as they rummaged through their baggage for the thin jumpers they bought ” just in case” that Italy is the only European country where British Expats next year will not be deprived of their winter fuel allowance from the UK government. For North American readers everyone over 60 in the UK gets £200 to help towards the heating bills. After a successful court case by the EU it was deemed that UK pensioners should receive the allowance where ever they live in the EU.
As a wheeze to stop this the UK government picked the warmest winter place in the UK the Scilly Islands ( yes really) and said Eu countries colder than there in January could still get it. They expected to end all payments but guess what there is a country and it is Italy.
Thursday’s high up here in the hills of Martina Franca of 14C should help the cause as well.
I am off now to take them on their first visit to the my local bar. This is normally the make or break of the trip. We had one couple of friends who decided quite quickly afterwards that they would be better of in a nice hotel in Martina Franca surrounded by upmarket bars. Let’s hope they don’t have to use the loo in the bar as well, two shocks in one night could break them.