The incident occurred in late June at the De Gironcoli hospital in the town of Vittorio Veneto in the Veneto region of Italy, Il Messaggero reported.
According to the patient, identified only by the initials O.M., a health care worker at the hospital told him: “You are too fat for our equipment, go and get an MRI at the vet. There they have facilities for large animals."
The man was forced to seek treatment elsewhere, and eventually got an MRI scan at a hospital in the town Pordenone, which is around 45 kilometres away.
The man, who weighs 150 kilos and was being treated for a knee problem, later reported the incident.
“I felt very uncomfortable when they said such a thing,” he said, according to Il Messaggero.
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The incident has since been condemned by Veneto’s President, Luca Zaia.
“We must apologize on everyone’s behalf to the patient and citizen. There was a severe lack of sensibility and it’s not true that the [right] equipment was missing: health care in Veneto is cutting-edge.”