The Vaticans Ospedale del Bambin Ges, which does not offer beds for obstetric and gynaecological cases under the Italian states health service but has great neonatal expertise, and the nearby state Ospedale del S. Spirito, which does have an obstetric department, are discussing ways to cooperate over offering the best possible service to women with difficult pregnancies or those diagnosed as carrying babies with malformations and newborn children with particular health problems. This would mean that the obstetricians of the S. Spirito would follow the pregnancy, while the paediatricians of the Bambin Ges would treat the baby in the womb. There are, however, considerable bureaucratic and financial problems facing the scheme, in that the Bambin Ges is technically extra-territorial and the whole Italian health service is very heavily in debt.

In a separate but allied move, technicians of the S. Spirito are studying ways of reintroducing a system first set up in the Middle Ages under Pope Innocent III, under which mothers could leave unwanted babies on a wheel, a sort of dumb waiter which would convey the abandoned baby into the hospital in complete anonymity. Pietro Grasso, director general of ASL Roma E and Giancarlo Massimi, architect, explain that space for the wheel or its modern equivalent has been found at the back of the hospital pharmacy, but ways of guaranteeing the privacy of the mother and safety of the baby have yet to be decided.

Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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