SANITARY ASSISTANCE IN ITALY
When you travel
it is necessary to know which precautions to adopt before leaving, how to
behave and to whom to address in case of disease or simple malaises.
Every country has precise rules on the distribution formalities of the
sanitary assistance to Italian or foreign citizens. It is necessary to
inquire yourself in time in order not to get lost in a water glass and to
benefit from first need services in case of emergency without any problems.
National Health Service
National Health Service - SSN
is the agency appointed by the Ministry of Health with a view to regulating
all the activities and guaranteeing medical assistance, health promotion and
diseases prevention. The SSN is constituted of agreed public and private
In Italy the Sanitary System is of a state type, organized independently on
regional basis (therefore there could be some differences in the level of
the service offered in the various regions) and has often specialized
hospital structures (dermatology, ophthalmology, and so on).
The E-111 model
E-111 model (green
booklet) is an international document that extends the national sanitary
cover to the European countries that have stipulated the agreement allowing
those who possess it to use the structures and the services of the Italian
National Service at the same conditions of the Italian citizens.
It is important before coming in Italy to get this model at the Sanitary
Service offices of the city of origin.
For those who have the E-111 model:
in order to carry out specialistic medical visits or no urgent examinations,
the holders of the E-111 must ask for the panel doctor's prescription, a
doctor that works for ASL (Local Sanitary Company where is available the
list of the doctors operating within the national health service).
After having obtained the request you must go to a hospital that has a
specialized unit, reserve the visit or the examination and later on pay an
to the agreed bank.
Some ASL, nursing homes and hospitals put at the customer's disposal
intercultural mediators with a view to making easier the communication
with doctors and nurses and giving detailed explanations on the SSN
For those who don't have the E-111 model:
For specialistic medical examinations or no urgent examinations, the ones
who don't have the E-111 model will be able to address to doctors and
private structures paying services or to the public structures that practice
the Italian State's rates. In this case the citizen of the European Union
will be able to ask to the mutual case of the country of origin the
reimbursement for the sanitary expenses faced.
In case, for whichever reason, it has not been possible to use the E 111
model, while back in native country you can ask your Assurance Agency the
reimbursement of the sanitary expenses faced. This possibility is valid just
presenting the receipts of payment and the sanitary documentation.
Public sanitary assistance
If you have the
statement of stay or the residence permit of a period not inferior to one
year, you have the same rights of the Italian citizen. The assistance is
extended to younger sons registered in the statement of stay or the
Foreign people not in possession of the residence
person without residence permit who uses all the sanitary services is not
signalled by sanitary operators to the Judiciary police.
The ASL you
belong to assigns the foreign person a card called S.T.P (Foreign Person
Temporary Present) that he has to show in order to use the sanitary
sevices and that must be renewed every six months in the place in which it
has been issued the first time.
They are guaranteed free of charge:
- In the
public structures operating within the national health service,
urgent or essential surgery and hospital treatments, even if
continuative, for disease and accident;
base sanitary assistance;
distribution of some services such as the assistance during pregnancy
and for the interruption of pregnancy, the assistance to the
minor, the prevention, the diagnosis and the treatment of
infectious and spreading diseases;
- The free
essential medicine distribution.
Temporary stay in Italy not for job reasons
It is possible to obtain direct services in
public and private structures recognized bythe National Health Service which
is constituted of a Local health units and hospitals net (USL) dislocated on
all the territory.
For direct services we mean sanitary treatments provided free of charge,
except for the payment of a ticket moderateur on the treated person's
For this aim, the Ministry of the Health has instituted a special carnet
that is made out by the USL (that in some regions is called ASL, AUSL, and
so on) to all those who present the communitarian certificate (the most
frequent is the E 111 form).
On this carnet (called "modular- booklet" and valid on all the
Italian territory) are written down the instructions to obtain the sanitary
services in the outpatients' departments and the hospitals of the Italian
National Health Service managed directly or in the private recognized
It is possible to have further information through the site of the Ministry:
In case of emergency it is possible to call from all the national territory
the free telephone number 118. In the cases in which it is not
necessary the transport in hospital the service of medical guard
(diurnal and nocturnal) is activated, while the service of ambulance or
helicopters ambulance (helicopters) is active in the cases in which the
transport in hospital is necessary.
The helicopter ambulance service is active just in some regions for
very serious car incidents or for incidents in mountain so as to make faster
the transport of the wounded people.
The 118 head office is operating 24 hours out of 24 and is in contact with
assistance services, the hospitals and the other agencies that take part in
emergency case (Civil Protection, Firemen, National Fire Department, and so
It describes the services of sanitary emergency and operating head
officeo f the 118 available in Italy: ambulance, medical urgency car,
medical urgency motor-bike, helicopter ambulance, helicopter aid.
Hospital - First Aid
In the main hospitals there is a service of First Aid which is free
and guaranteed to every Italian citizen.
Also foreign people belonging to the European Union can use this service
free of charge, but only if they have the sanitary card or a medical
If they do not possess the
card TEAM, expenses
for the sanitary services must be paid by those who use them, that will ask
for reimbursement from the mutual case of the country of origin (using the
It is possible to have the addresses of Italian hospitals through the
Sanitary emergency on public holidays
During festivity, according to the gravity, can:
Contact the domiciliary
whose telephone number varies from city to city and can be found in the
first pages of the telephone directory or dialling the 412 of Telecom
(892412 for those who call from a cell phone).
- Go to
the First aid of a hospital.
- In case
of emergency call the 118 in order to put yourself in contact with the
operating head office that coordinates the sanitary aid from the
emergency place to the admission to hospital.
information and web addresses in case of emergency
DROGATEL: Toll Number 800 016600 provides 24 hours out of 24
information on narcotics, addresses and telephone numbers of services
and private and public centres who take care of drug addiction (Asl,
therapeutic communities, welcome centres, and so on).
via Vettabbia, 4 - 20122 Milano - tel. +3902/8375957 fax: +3902/58102445
The Italian Red Cross:
Central Committee: via Toscana 12 - 00187 Roma - tel. +3906/47591
Through the web page
it is possible to find the list of all the delegations in Italy with the
Ticket and Exemption
The ticket is
the rate to pay in order to use a determined sanitary service (specialistic
visits, laboratory examinations, drug prescription and first aid services).
The price depends on the type of examination and/or visit and on the type of
structure you address to. In some cases it is possible to ask for the ticket
exemption in order to avail free of charge of some treatments. The exemption
is given on the basis of the age, the registration in the placement lists,
the income and the type of disease.
The hospitalizations are ticket free.
However, if you wish a greater comfort, with the payment of a ticket every
day, you can obtain a private room.
The admission to public Hospitals (and recognized private ones) can occur,
both directly through the "first aid" delivering directly the E111 form, and
on the basis of the panel doctor's prescription (using the "Carnet of the
health", a bunch of green coloured sheets on which the doctors, the
foreign citizen go to, prescribe both specialistic examinations and
Guard is a free domiciliary service supplied by the SSN that guarantees
urgent medical examinations in the hours in which the panel doctors and the
base paediatrician are not available. The doctor of the medical guard can
prescribe medicine but, just those in use for therapies of urgency in the
sufficient amount for three days, and moreover he can propose the
hospitalization. You can find the telephone numbers in the first pages of
Interventions, in case of nocturnal, festive and prefestive, domiciliary and
territorial urgencies, are guaranteed from 14.00 of the pre-festive day to
8.00 of the day after the public holiday and from 20.00 to 8.00 every week
days and services are the same as those of the general medicine doctor.
Tourist medical guard
The tourist medical Guard is a seasonal service of sanitary
assistance, available in venues with consistent tourism, for no resident
people, and behaves the same way as the medical guard, guaranteeing on the
contrary, the assistance, for the entire day.
In every A.S.L.
are available advisory bureaux , that have, by law, to assist free of charge
all the pregnant women, even if they do not have the residence permit,
let alone their sons until they are out of age. In the advisory bureaux are
carried out individual, couple, group activities and are guaranteed, in
Assistance of the woman in pregnancy.
Assistance to the woman who decides to interrupt the pregnancy.
Information and orientation on the contraception.
Assistance to the foreign children not enrolled in the National
Preservatives free controls.
You can avail of
all these services, in a free way and without the family doctor's
prescription, going personally to the same advisory bureau in order to
fix an appointment or taking the appointment by telephone.
on a trip, it is advisable to buy the medicines you could need and that
could be difficult to find.
This above all because in Italy not all the medicines can be bought freely,
most of medicines need a doctor's prescription.
Moreover, in case of visits to not urban regions, the pharmacies could not
be much widespread.
In turn, both in the cities and among small townscouncils, are guaranteed
the service at night and during public holidays: you can find in all the
pharmacies the list of the nearest pharmacies on duty, open at night or
during public holidays.
In a city centre, it is possible to consult the list of the nocturnal
pharmacies in the local pages of the main daily paper.