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Healthcare system in Italy

Doctor healthcare medicine

Furthermore, it is a proud facilitator of the finest healthcare system and a good standard of living. 

In short, most Italian residents enjoy lots of benefits, like the Italian free healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization, Italy ranks among the top 10 countries that have the best and quality health services. This Mediterranean country has a world-leading healthcare system.

Italy has the world’s 6th highest life expectancy. The average life expectancy for men is as high as 79.6 years and 85.1 years for women. These results are achieved by well-established health policies in both public and private sectors and successful welfare measures of course.

Italian Healthcare System

National Health Service (NHS) was established in 1978. It was set up to provide quality health to all citizens, tourists, and residents by a mixed public-private system. In Italy, Healthcare accounts for 9.2% of its GDP, of which about 77% is public ($3,200 per capita). 

Health care in Italy is organized and controlled by the Ministry of Health on a regional basis. Public hospitals in Italy are decent and prepared for emergencies. There are also some state hospitals that are overcrowded, under-funded, and offer services below standard.

black and gray stethoscope

Free Public Care

The healthcare system in Italy is controlled regionally by a National Health Service known as Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). Servizio Sanitario Nazionale allows citizens and residents to get free or low-cost health services including consultations with a physician, lab tests, and medications. 

SSN provides general health coverage to citizens and residents. It allows them to enjoy public healthcare free of charge. Each region is responsible for managing its own care, so that means there are differences in policies, quality, and cost in each region.

Free treatments covered by the public health system in Italy include tests, medications, services offered by pediatricians and other specialists, emergency ambulance, laboratory services, surgeries, hospitalization, family doctor visitations, and treatments. 

How Do I Register For The SSN?

Before you can enjoy quality Italian healthcare, you must register with the SSN in the region or district where you reside. All Italian citizens & legal residents can enjoy this quality healthcare system. European Union citizens that possess European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can also access SSN services 

If you want to register for SSN, you need to go to a Local Health Authority or Azienda Sanitaria Locale, to complete your application for SSN. You must have the following documents to complete your registration for National health Services in Italy:

  • Permit to stay (Permesso Di Soggiorno);
  • Valid ID;
  • Your tax code (Codice Fiscale);
  • INPS declaration;
  • Certificate of entitlement to treatment for EU citizens [E111];
  • Employed applicants must bring a letter from their employer. Self-employed applicants must bring their Partita Iva.

After your application has been processed and accepted, you will be given a health card that contains your SSN number and a bar code. These unique IDs will serve as a free ticket for any health services or medications.

Private Healthcare

With private health insurance, you can easily choose doctors, specialists, or surgeons that you want in private hospitals. This is the best way to get quality health care in Italy. It allows you to avoid long queues and waiting lists when seeking a medical appointment.

Both rich Italians and ex-pats prefer private health insurance over and public ones. Private hospitals in Italy have excellent facilities that provide comfort and quality service. The only downside to private healthcare in Italy is that some treatments are very expensive without a private health insurance policy.

Private Vs Public HealthCare in Italy

Public healthcare in this part of Europe is excellent, free, with almost all medical costs for a patient covered. The Italian health system focuses on both preventative and prescriptive care.

Private health insurance in Italy is used mainly by the rich and affluent members of society. This system makes use of private insurance premiums, which are quite costly but not tax-deductible. Private health insurance offers comfortable facilities and a shorter waiting list. 

Doctors and nursing working in private facilities are also more likely to speak English. But in Italy, private insurance is also popular for patients in the southern parts of the country. Public facilities are more basic in the south than in the north.

Healthcare Costs in Italy

Costs of health services vary in the region and the private insurance applicable. In Italy, the average cost of health insurance Italy is $236 per year. Appointments and hospital visitations are free in urgent cases. In non-urgent cases, co-pay may be required. Elderly citizens, pregnant women, and children are exempt from these copay costs.

For foreigners visiting this part of Europe for the first time, If you have a medical emergency, call 112 to get an English-speaking operator. But if you can speak or understand Italian, call 118.

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