Nothing can spoil traveling abroad as getting sick or having a medical emergency far from home. What can make the whole situation even worse is the inconvenience that occurs when you don’t speak the language of the country you are staying in. Trying to get over even mild flues and colds by yourself can be challenging if you cannot find the medications you are used to, and you don’t know their equivalent in Italy. In the center of Rome pharmacists sometimes speak English so they might be able to help you if you need over the counter medications.
But what to do when you need help of a general practitioner or specialist? Italian health system is socialized which means that there are public hospitals where anyone, including expats and tourists, can be admitted and treated. Usually there is no cost for being treated, only minimal charges in case you are admitted to the hospital. Italian public hospitals, can however be slow, it could take a couple of days for the procedures to be done, there is no “hotel” feel to it and you will most likely share a room with other patients. You cannot choose your physician but there are specialists of all kinds always available. The hospital will try to provide you with an English speaking doctor but there is no guarantee they will have one and that you will be able to communicate well. That is why there are private clinics where you can pay to be treated or admitted, and if you hold medical insurance, look for the clinics that are covered by your insurance company. A number of private clinics are only English speaking (and in some cases they have doctors speaking other languages such as French, German, Spanish etc – check this before hand by visiting the hospital website or by calling). Some of these private clinics provide home visits, others are walk-in or by appointment only – either way, this will be specified on their websites.
Other private English-speaking clinics in Rome:
Doctors in Italy located in Via Frattina 48 – 00187 Rome
Medical Dimension located in Via di San Giovanni in Laterano 182 – 00184 Rome
Aventino Medical Group located in Via Sant’Alberto Magno 5 – 00153 Rome
AIED Roma located in Viale Gorizia 14; Via Toscana 30/1; Via Toscana 30/4