The effort to be born in Italy


A friend of mine has had a baby. For some time he has chosen to avoid any type of contact with the public administration. But his role as a father has obliged him to step forward.
To get a paediatrician for the child he had to go to the ASL (Health Authorities) he needed the fiscal code from the Income Authorities who needed the birth certificate from the Town Hall who needed the Birth declaration from the hospital.
Hospital-Town Hall-Income Authorities-ASL-paediatrician. He had to go 4 times to the Income Authority because as soon as they opened, the tickets needed for the request had already been used up (with non-Europeans already queuing up from 5 in the morning) and in the end an official took pity on him. He was assigned a paediatrician 3 kilometres from his home.
But is it so difficult for the hospital to provide a birth certificate, a fiscal code and a paediatrician to a new-born? If the public administration had a minimum of efficiency and used the Internet for everything, with the consultancy of the innovative Stanca who has got lost in the Senate.

A paediatrician has written to me and I am publishing her letter. We'll end up having to give birth abroad.

"My name is Lorella L…,
I work as a general paediatrician. I suggest a piece of research that I think would be very interesting. It's about the miserable state in which Italian paediatrics is moving. To see the action of us paediatricians, you just have to look around the streets. Children who are getting fatter, with teeth like sharks and legs that are crooked. Full of medicines. And yet the maximum number of patients to each paediatrician increases, new people are not taken on, those who die are not replaced. Paediatricians in cities with 1000 on their lists no longer do home visits, anyway the citizens cannot change paediatrician. All paediatricians group together to earn more and to cover for each other. Non-urban paediatricians work alone with no guarantees. This happens in my zone, Ancona's ASL, but I believe that it is a general problem.
Rather than getting new paediatricians, they strike off the older children from the lists, thus denying them their right to have a paediatrician up to the age of 14 years. The ASL clearly is in favour as they have to pay less for the patients in excess of the first 500. To do this they base things on the convention drawn up by an oligarchy of maximal paediatricians.
The convention says that to calculate a shortfall it's necessary to count the children aged from 0 to 6. However the children stay generally until they are 14 (unless they are sent away) so the paediatricians are extra full, earning mad amounts, but providing a terrible service, because it is impossible to provide a good service with 1000 children. However the convention doesn't seem to be obligatory. In fact the region of Umbria has taken on new paediatricians having calculated a percentage of those on the list aged 6 to 14. But other regions don't want to know about this.
If new people are not taken on, paediatrics in cities like Ancona will finish, when the 14 paediatricians all retire at the same time. One of the alibis is that there are no exchanges.
But to train a paediatrician it takes 5 years and in the specialist departments only 3 or 4 are accepted each year. It would be enough to plan a greater number. Obviously you are not going to consider being a paediatrician if you can't get into the specialist department and then if you cannot get a job. It all seems like a simple discussion but it isn't because it relates to the health of millions of children."

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:20 PM in | Comments (47)
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I would advice a book

Guylaine Lanctôt
The Medical Mafia.

Posted by: B. Fontana | October 15, 2006 11:03 AM

Exactly so Joselle...LOL LOL
I was trying to identify myself and couldn't come up with a better way, so I thought of Rhyming Slang to let you know it wasn't me asking that stupid question about your surname....:o)))

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 2, 2006 08:51 PM

Paola, you got your English almost right, LOL... though us Kentish folk were brought up to speak more Oxford than Cockney English. Naturally, once at school, we soon learned "all'em bloomin' words, blimey!" What a brat I was, mortifying my mother with my "foul-sounding mouthy language"... [SORRY Mum, I mean it!]


Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 2, 2006 06:44 PM


...she confirms everything, except for the ".it".


Posted by: Raffaella Birotella | October 2, 2006 02:07 PM

The previous message was a clone: he mistaked even the link at my website: .com and not .it!
bad, very bad!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 2, 2006 01:53 PM

To demonstrate I'm an idiot: "bidibidibidibidi"
No doubt yet, isnt'it? ;-)))))))))

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 2, 2006 01:45 PM

This time it was me...Before moving to North London I lived for a short while near the "Sound of the Bow Bells" so I've tried to use some of the
"language" of that area....
Obviously I've lol lol

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 2, 2006 10:34 AM

You guys are a congregation of morons.

The freaks here are not the clones. But the people who write such things--and mean them!

Posted by: Astolfio Quintrugli | October 2, 2006 09:35 AM

la mia amica ieri mi ha parlato di lei, questi amici sono italiani. Io sono francese ma siamo amici e ci vogliamo bene un gran bene, disinteressato sopratutto. Siamo legati da direi (non so più esattamente) forse 6 o 7 anni forse di più. Prima la mia vita era in Francia e loro venivano spesso per le vacanze o altro o solo per renderci servizio. ora, da quando sono qui la coppia e venuta ieri per la prima volta. E ilmio commpleanno oggi e non volevano che sia sola. Sono rimasti sabato e domenica con me eravamo come tre fanciulli.... sono molto attiva e troppo attaccata a tutto quello che e ricordo. Ecco perche patisco. Ho vissuto 15 anni in America prima di ritornare in Francia ero felice , eravamo felici come una coppia "reale". sig. Grilli rispondimi in tanto io gli posso dire que non ho (da ieri) ancora avuto il tempo si "explorare" il suo sito. Mi devo rimettere alla traduzione del libro del mio Sacerdote - un Santo, Don Mario di San Donato in Livizzano. Ogni volta che lo vedo - molto molto spesso mi chiede : quale pagine sei.... mi devo sbrigare, alomeno li sono occupata con il mio povero cervello e rendo servizio a qualcuno,

Prego tanto,prego tanto, buona giornata, buona continuazione, Liliane

Posted by: Liliane, Mary | October 2, 2006 08:13 AM

Prince: I'm 100% sure! ;-))))

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 2, 2006 02:03 AM

I knew it, as you can read below!
Dear clone: cloning The Prince it's very hard, forget it!;-))))

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 2, 2006 02:01 AM


To show you that whoever wrote the comment immediately after yours it's not me, I give you this clue: "Eat more Tremini"

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 2, 2006 01:57 AM

you are not The Prince.I can't believe it, sorry.
Prince, welcome in the cloned-club!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 2, 2006 01:56 AM


The previous comment has been made by a clone.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 2, 2006 01:54 AM


Your attempt at being serious is pathetic. I'm starting to like the clones better.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 2, 2006 01:41 AM

Prince, I like your phrase:"It's like flying out of our body and looking at ourselves and where we are from a different point of view."
I try to do it everytime, because it's the right way to understand the world.
PS) Have you seen how many clones are there?
To demonstrate I'm myself: "bidibidibidibidi"
No doubt yet, isnt'it? ;-)))))))))

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 2, 2006 01:34 AM

Paola, is that the clone again? Or is it you writing nonsense this time?


Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 2, 2006 01:26 AM


My question about paying taxes is sarcastic.

It's like flying out of our body and looking at ourselves and where we are from a different point of view.

It's like: "wait a minute! Why am I eating this s..t? What for?"

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 2, 2006 01:16 AM

Obviously he's cloning me Joselle....between you and me:
"Would you Adam and Eve it mate??
he must be barmy and needs a good kick in the Jacksons”....LOL LOL LOL

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 2, 2006 12:59 AM

Enrico, it wasn't you!?

So, you mean, you're not a psycho!?

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 1, 2006 11:54 PM

Dear clone (or Astolfio...) you are boring, not intelligent nor smart, nor provoker, only BORING, That's all.
PS) I'm going to the movie yet, from now on whoever is writing in my name is a clone!!!!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 1, 2006 08:59 PM



You mean I am just like you...

Only, I do it on purpose.

Posted by: Raffaella Birotella | October 1, 2006 11:45 PM


how about the psychos--your patients?

you forgot about us!"
Obviously I didn't write this either! The juvenile is back at his/her usual silly games. It's way past bedtime for you dear! Get your pacifier and teddy bear and get lost!!!!!

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | October 1, 2006 11:33 PM

Paola, Camilleri IS REALLY my surname... my Dad would kill if anyone'd deny that!!! LOL!
Is there someone cloning me perhaps???? I'd have noticed that I guess :o)))) It appears Raffaella triggers more the imagination of the clones, maybe someone inspired by the film Multiplicity, who knows??? *s*

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 1, 2006 11:17 PM

He's coming back!
The clone is coming back!
Dear clone (or Astolfio...) you are boring, not intelligent nor smart, nor provoker, only BORING, That's all.
PS) I'm going to the movie yet, from now on whoever is writing in my name is a clone!!!!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 1, 2006 08:59 PM


how about the psychos--your patients?

you forgot about us!

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | October 1, 2006 08:41 PM

Paola: I consider my "fatherland" every country in which I feel good, and to feel good depends not only on money, job, and economical welfare.
If I had a man who I love and who loves me, a family, good friends and an happy life, I would be happy in every country of the world. I know Greece only as turist, but I find it a wonderful country.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 1, 2006 08:37 PM

Joselle, stop it!!

We know that Joselle and Camilleri are not the same person!

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 1, 2006 08:29 PM


Astolfio, Astolfi, Kerko, Simpson... are not the same person.

I know some of them, but not all.

Posted by: Raffaella Birotella | October 1, 2006 08:28 PM

Sorry my friends but I couldn't resist and had to post my previous message...

Enrico,It is true I could make another move yes,and I would if my husband was not Greek and my children were not 13 and 16 years old...Obviously,as Joselle said,I took the wrong plane....:o))

ps.Age is not an issue with me, I have drunk the Nile water and I know Cleopatra's secret of eternal lol

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 1, 2006 08:19 PM

As Joselle also said, in Italy there is not one heltah service, but more different services, depending on the different regions and cities.
In many little north-italian cities there are no problems with the service, hospitals are working very good and efficient, no waiting lists, no dysfunctions, it seems to be in an other world than in Rome, Milan, Neaple or in the other italian big cities.
The reason are always the same: waste, bureaucracy, corruption. In some hospitals in the South there are very expensiv but unused equipments buyed years ago by crooked administrators in return for bribes and totally unuseful, while other units in the same hospital are lacking everything.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 1, 2006 08:09 PM

No matter how hard you try my... "friend" -(Astolfio,Astolfi,Kerko,Simpson etc) your dictation is still correct !!!
One word of advice though...don't mess with people (races) you don't know anything about, it could prove dangerous....

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 1, 2006 08:05 PM

Hmmm, thank goodness that now, getting on in age, I can still go back to my University job :o))) Of course, joking apart, age is an asset but experience also helps.

You know, often you get job adverts with that famous phrase "salary commensurate with experience"... if many in Italy remain "precari" or part-timers, one wonders how much that can influence many employers. Which brings us to that famous pension bit of 40 Years of work to get full pension... I wonder what was the REAL motive behind that kind of reasoning. [Perhaps I know, but I'd rather not be too phrasy... I might be deemed too rude!]

Every country has some trash to throw out. In some countries it is not so apparent, but in Italy the whole thing comes out because people talk about it, the media, the intellectuals and great comedians like Beppe. In England we had something similar with great programs like Spitting Image and a great comedian like Dave Allen. Other countries are hush hush about their dirty linen but it will come out in the end, as always.

So, coming back to the issue, it is not worth it to have babies in Italy. Have you considered the cost of keeping a baby? I mean, COMPARE prices with other countries.

Tell me, why should a particular brand of infant milk formula cost 40 Euros a kg in Italy when I can buy it somewhere else in Europe at 14 Euros a kg? Why should the Plasmon, Mellin, Nipiol [made in Italy products] cost 50% LESS in other European countries? Having kids is a real financial burden. Their upkeep, health, education, nutrition, dental care, cost a bomb here. We shall end up with a huge population and cultural deficit when comparing "Italian" birth rate with "Immigrant" birth rate and NO GOVERNMENT is seriously doing anything about it like, for example, passing a DECENT children's allowance or a higher tax rebate for larger families.

Italians have 1 child, at most 2, RARELY 3 or more... I always see immigrants with 3 or more children though. One day Italy will be everything but Italian. Take Britain, especially England as your model... sometimes going back there I wonder if I took the wrong plane by mistake.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 1, 2006 07:57 PM

Paola, it sounds like you've fallen from the pan into the fire! You are a smart woman and are fluent in at least three languages. What makes you think that you would not be considered an asset to another Country? If I were you I would try to make a move to a better environment, but don't wait too long: age is always the most important factor for emigration. The younger the better.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | October 1, 2006 07:09 PM

i Have live in iTaly foR 5 yeArs (ilLegaLy] end to mE itAly is verry vrrey goOd.;

wHen i beFore LiVe in ALBANIA were verry wors. verry not goOd., tHerE wasnt noTheing tO steAl, pipPle weRe veRry verrY pooR caNt eVen roB tHem.

so i sAy: grAzzie iTallia!

Posted by: alBulen keRko | October 1, 2006 06:04 PM

Messaggio di prova da zorro

Posted by: Gino Astolfi | October 1, 2006 12:15 PM

I never wanted to take advantage of this space and talk about Greece because I know that what Beppe is looking for here, is the opinion of Italians on Italy's problems; whether living abroad like us or in Italy like Raffa ,Joselle and others.
However, you gave me the opportunity with your question, to say something I wanted to say for a long time and especially to Alex who was the most pessimistic of all:
To me living in Greece or living in Italy is exactly the same thing!!!
There is not one single article I have read since I've been on this blog that I could not have translated into Greek and not have passed for a Greek article from a Greek newspaper!!!
Corruption, taxes, immigrants, authorities, child abuse, RAI, ENI,indulto, political parties,EVERYTHING is happening in Greece too...

Like in Italy..we don't manage to make a living...we just most of Europe does!!
Recently Greece was announced to be among one of the eight richest countries of Europe...Do you know what is the basic salary here??
Euros 600 (1 bedroom min.350 euros)
Lowest Pension: 320 Euros per month...!!!

Italy is one of them too...

Now you tell me if we were all to immigrate which country would take us???

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 1, 2006 10:26 AM

To be honest with you, I did not have big problems getting the Codice Fiscale and have my children assigned to a very good, honest, hard-working paediatrician who, without any qualms or excuses, is ALWAYS available when needed. I must say he is a very rare case, perhaps, which is sorry for one hopes all doctors to be honest and full of integrity.

I believe it all depends whether you live in a very busy city or the suburb. Maybe, in my case, being in a quiet small town makes a lot of difference. I know that big cities pose greater and more complex problems, starting with the bureaucratic network and continuing in those health mazes called ASL Offices.

Naturally, I am always dismayed at the bureaucracy that is involved in the whole matter. The amount of useless paperwork in this day and age of computer technology and networking... everything could be done from one place with a few simple clicks. It will cut down on clogging, inexorable waiting and useless procedures that know the days of paper and ink only.

Italians say it is the dog that bites its own tail [il cane che morde la coda]. How true. Even in the UK, the problem with many NHS is the lack of efficiency, naturally a result of the number of patients increasing and the waiting lists getting longer and longer.

A few better solutions could include a decent tax-rebate on health insurances. I do not know if any have any idea how insurances work here. My insurance is a foreign one. It does give me the benefit of CHOOSING my doctor, the hospital or clinic, etc. etc.

The fact that you insure your health and life is considered an investment in many countries because you are not a liability for the state. The reward for this effort is usually granted in a deductable amount from your taxable income, and some may benefit a tax-rebate anything from 35% to 75% on the amount paid.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me on this matter better. Health Services were always extremely good in countries where social services were optimal. With less people being born and the working population shrinking, who is going to pay taxes to supply funds for social services? Or shall we pay even more taxes? Aren't Italians taxed enough? I find the amount of tax paid in this country rather knocking. When you pay taxes and bills, what are you left with? Some families end in the red, and some, maybe, with a few cents. I guess honesty does not really pay. The rich get richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class is becoming something of the past.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | October 1, 2006 09:49 AM

Prince: you ask why italians pay taxes: I pay taxes because of two reasons:
#1 I must pay, because as state employee taxes are automatically deducted from my salary, like it or not,
#2 I want to pay, because I think that if everybody would pay taxes, we will pay less, and the service would be better.
I can't get pissed off because of tax dodgers if I'm a tax dodger myself.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 1, 2006 03:04 AM

You actually manage to make a living in Greece? In Canada we have a very large Greek population that escaped Greece in despair and now, with the colossal Olympic debt hanging over the economy, Greece is even in worse conditions.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | October 1, 2006 02:27 AM

What do you mean Prince??
Name me one social service for which taxes are payed fuctions properly....(!!!)

Raffa, I think what you wrote is correct, but all the same, is it only when there is a danger of being fined that common policies are followed??? It is a disgrace....

As for Aspasia...Yia sou !!! The word COPYCAT I wrote in my earlier post was for Greece...I live in Athens too and if you continue to follow this blog, you will find so many similarities between the two countries that in the end you will get confused...!!!

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 1, 2006 12:56 AM

So, at this point, why the Italians pay taxes?

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | October 1, 2006 12:07 AM

I live in Greece since the year 2000. I had a first child in Italy 13 years ago. I had my second child one and half months ago in Athens. Same pittoresque adventure through greek (or south-european if you like, burocracy, but with a slight difference. You don't get a doctor for free from the state for your child. You pay for it. And probably he/she is not coming to visit at home, and it is not located close to your house.

Posted by: aspasia | September 30, 2006 11:29 PM

Paola & Prince: I'm afraid that the european union is still almost a economic and monetary union, the only thing we have in common is still the money. The european council is only worried about the observance of the Maastricht's parameters, the other matters are referred to the single countries, while the council is restricted to issue common policies without obligation to be respected by the single countries. I'm not 100% sure, but I think so.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | September 30, 2006 07:57 PM

Along with Paola I'm asking: what the European Parliament is doing regarding this issue?
Are we represented?
Looks like Dr. Mengele has been working on the whole sanitary system without any regard whatsoever for people's needs.

As for Ibai: Gora Euskadi askatuta!!!

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | September 30, 2006 07:08 PM

Italy has only one hope for its future - its children. But there isn't much hope for them, and there aren't many, as we all know. Plenty of old folks though - graduated at 27, retired at 50 (just 23 years working, *if* they worked, and God alone knows if they paid the correct taxes during those years). During their working life they had 14 pay checks a year for 10 months' work a year (you work it out - Italy has the most public/personal holidays in Europe), and now they expect pensions, health care, and assorted other benefits 'til they die at 93.

No wonder kids get the shitty end of the stick in this country when their grandparents are taking the money they need for their health care from them. Not a wonder either that so few kids are being born, and hardly any wonder that the authorities have no money to take care of them either.

Posted by: Aidan Smyth | September 30, 2006 04:36 PM

Hello all!

Beppe u are riht, i have spent this summer in Italy(anzio), and the sanitaru sistem is tottatty obsoletted, comparing with the actuall of the Basque Country, (Spain).

I think that the Health System in Basque Country, is better than the English.

Thanks for this Blog.


Posted by: Ibai Guirles | September 30, 2006 02:07 PM

COPYCAT again...!!!
Italy's Health system stinks,
Britain's, one of Europe's best is deteriorating,etc. etc....
My question is: Why on earth does the European Counsil have immergency meetings when financial or political matters are raised and NOT when educational, health and citizens' wellbeing matters are concerned...???!!!

Posted by: paola filinesi | September 30, 2006 01:16 PM

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