The Italian healthcare system is designed to provide healthcare. It is also designed to employ as many people as possible by inventing roles that are completely unnecessary.
In America you go see your doctor and sometimes he or she needs a blood sample. He or she then takes said sample. Maybe you had to take the morning off work to go to your doctor's appointment, but NBD, right?
In Italy you go see your doctor and sometimes he or she needs a blood sample. So he or she scrawls something on a red piece of paper distributed by the State and, only if he or she is incredibly generous and helpful, says the following:
"Here is your prescription for a blood test. Now it's simple. All you have to do is
1) call the 800 number to find a suitable location and schedule your test (IF you can decipher my handwriting BWAHAHAHAHA!),
2) take another morning off and go to the test center, then
3) check in for your test at the check-in counters, then
4) move over to the cashiers and pay for the test, then
5) go down the hall and check in again with more check-in people, and THEN
6) have someone draw your damn blood.
You know. Instead of just me doing it.
Oh and then take another morning off work (or convince someone else to) because you have to go and pick the test results up IN PERSON. In four weeks. Hope it's not an emergency. Mmmmmmkay?"