Medical Attention

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What to do if you need Medical Attention during your Holiday

Posted by Dympna Docherty (05/06/2015)

Your Tuscan break is likely to be a carefree time spent relaxing and soaking up the cultural atmosphere, but should any of your party feel under the weather, or require medical attention, here’s what you need to know.

Minor Injuries
Cuts, bruises, bug bites, and rashes do not usually require visits to hospital in Italy. Instead, you can head to the nearest Farmacia, or pharmacy. You’ll find them in plenty of communes and cities, and they are usually clearly signposted by a lit green plus sign. In a Farmacia, you’ll tend to find a range of first aid items, and a number of over the counter drugs. As Tuscany is also home to viper snakes that can deliver poisonous bites, the Farmacia is also the place to go should you require anti-venom.

Farmacias often operate longer opening hours than other shops, and although you may face some difficulties if you don’t know any Italian, their staff can offer plenty of advice about ailments.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you’re a UK resident and are planning on visiting Tuscany, then it is a good idea to apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The card allows temporary visitors to Italy, and other European countries access to discount or free healthcare from non-private services, which can come in handy should you require medical attention. You can apply for a card for free online.

These don’t replace travel insurance though, so be sure to buy some that covers the duration of your stay.

In case of an emergency
If you need medical assistance during your stay in Tuscany, then you need to visit either a SSN hospital or a Guardia Medica, as these are the places you can use your EHIC. A Guardia Medica is the place to go if you require after-hours first aid.

Should you need to seek emergency medical advice, then here are the numbers you’ll need to know:

·         112 – This number works in most European countries, and should be used if you’re in a life-threatening emergency. It is the number to call for medical, fire, and police services.

·         118 – ambulance (Emergenza Sanitaria)

·         113 – police (Carabineri)

·         170 – International Operator (English speaking) (Informazione Internatzionali)

If you do have to make an emergency call, it’s likely that you’ll need to provide you name and phone number, the emergency situation, where the emergency is, where you are, and any reference points that are useful knowledge.

If you find that there is a language barrier between yourself and any medical professionals, you can find medical phrases on this website, as recommended by the UK’s NHS.

Here at To Tuscany, we hope you have a happy holiday that is free from hospital visits.

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