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Medical Services in Italy

Medical Emergency

If you are visiting Italy and need urgent medical assistance, you can go to the Pronto Soccorso (Emergency) at any hospital to receive treatment. If the doctor deems it necessary, you will be hospitalized.

Should you need an ambulance, you can request one by dialing 118 from anywhere in the country.

General Medical Assistance

A foreign citizen living in Italy with a valid Permit of Stay has the same rights as Italian citizens to medical assistance assured by the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale - SSN (National Health Service). In order to obtain health and medical assistance, the foreign citizen must enrol directly at the Azienda Sanitaria Locale - ASL (Local health office) of his/her area of residence.

Travellers who have private health insurance can visit a general physician or specialist of their choice, whether in the private or public sector. If the doctor is in the public sector, the cost of the visit is set by the National Social Security Plan whereas the cost of a visit with a private doctor will vary. You can ask about the doctor's fee when you call his office to make an appointment. Fees are payable as the visit ends. Make sure to obtain a receipt as it is up to you to claim reimbursement from your Provincial Health Plan and/or private insurance. All or a part of the cost will be reimbursed by your private insurance company.

Some private hospitals and clinics are well known and more comfortable than public hospitals, although public hospitals have the necessary equipment to conduct specialized examinations.

A complete list of health facilities in Italy is available from Pagine Gialle (yellow pages). A search for "ospedale" (hospital) will provide results that may be sorted by category of facility (e.g. hospital, pharmacy) and geographic location, and that are fully searchable.

The Embassy maintains a list of doctors for your convenient reference.

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Date Modified:
2012-03-06