Italian hospital praise

By Charles W. Cook
This item appears on page 46 of the February 2017 issue.

After reading the “Discerning Traveler” column about hospital conditions and treatments in Naples, Italy (Sept. ’16, pg. 51), I felt I should report on a very positive experience that my wife, Mary, and I had at the public hospital in Puglia, Italy.

On Sept. 27, 2016, we were staying at a hotel in the village of Bosco, a few miles outside of Perugia. In the middle of the night on our first night there, Mary tripped on the bedspread, which had fallen off the bed while she was getting up, and broke her right arm just below the shoulder.

The hotel made arrangements for an ambulance to pick her up and transport her to the Azienda Ospedaliera (Agency Hospital) di Perugia for examination and treatment. 

We had a short wait in the emergency room, as there were three or four patients ahead of Mary, but once we were taken to see the orthopedic surgeon, things moved with remarkable efficiency.

Mary was given a full examination, including an EKG and x-ray. The surgeon determined that it was a clean break and stable and wouldn’t require surgery. He offered to have a brace made for stabilizing the arm and shoulder but suggested that I could go to an orthopedic supply store a block from the hospital, where I could purchase a much more comfortable brace that would work just as well.

I spent 40 (near $42) for the recommended brace. Mary was x-rayed again after the brace had been fitted on her, to ensure that the break would remain stable.

Our entire hospital visit took about five hours. After the examination and treatment were complete, I asked where I should go to pay for the services received and learned that we wouldn’t be charged for anything — not the ambulance, the full physical examination, the x-rays or anything other than the brace I voluntarily purchased.

The hospital was as clean and modern as any we have visited in the US, and the staff there was outstanding. We can’t say enough about the care and concern we received from the hospital staff led by Dr. Daniele Bonomi, the orthopedic surgeon who took care of Mary.

My wife and I hope our experience might serve as a counterbalance to the negative experiences recounted by Dr. Wagenaar.


Nashville, TN