±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Get useful expat articles, health and financial news, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!



We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Services

Italy - Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Services


In Italy, it isn’t acceptable for patients to show up at a public practitioner’s clinic unannounced for the first time. Just like in the US and the UK, it is customary for all residents to get registered with a local doctor as their general practitioner or family doctor (medici generici).

Expats can get registered with the Italian National Health Service, known as Servizio Sanitorio Nazionale (SSN) for a national health number once they get their residence permit. Four documents are required by all expats, in order to get registered with the Servizio Sanitorio Nazionale. These include –

1. A residency document, which can be obtained from the local commune
2. The “Stato Di Famiglia” (Civil Status Certificate) for other family members to be registered. This document is available at the local commune
3. The “Codice Fiscale” (Fiscal Code Card, similar to Social Security Card), from the “Agenzia del’entrate”, the Italian tax collection agency
4. Identity card, which is issued by the Anagrafe office (registrar office of vital statistics)

If all the documentation is in place, expats can register with a local doctor for general medical assistance. Children below the age of 14 should be registered with a pediatrician.

A list of all doctors who are taking on patients is available at the Azienda Sanitaire Local (ASL), the local health care center. The officials at the center often help expats choose a doctor, based on gender preferences and their residence. Many expats simply refer to the doctors listed under Medici Generici in the yellow pages. However, it may be a bit of a challenge finding an English-speaking doctor from these sources. Fortunately, the British, American and Canadian embassies in Italy have a list of all the health care providers who can speak English.

After selecting a doctor, the health officials at ASL issue a slip, which needs to be presented for registration. Once the slip is accepted by the doctor, individuals are entitled to an appointment at no charge. Each member of the family is then given a health card, which should be carried for every visit.

An individual can choose to register with a different doctor at any time. Waiting lists to get registered with a doctor are not common, probably because Italy has the highest number of doctors per head in the world.

While the family doctor you are registered with will not charge for an appointment and general consultation, you will need to pay for any tests that are recommended. Private doctors charge patients for visits, consultation, medication and so on. Any expat can choose to consult a specialist or a private doctor, as long as they don’t mind paying for the services. Many patients visit private doctors when they want a second opinion. Unfortunately, some of the small towns, especially in the southern part of the country, only offer public healthcare system.

It Italy, it is common to see family doctors run a private practice too. Some of them may ask you to see them privately for special treatment. In such instances, they are likely to charge their standard fee, even if you are a registered patient. Private doctors generally charge an initial registration fee of €12.00 or so. Each visit may cost anywhere between €40.00 and €200.00.

Most of the dentists in Italy run their private practice. However, expats can make use of state-provided dental care at medical facilities operated by the SSN or the ASL.

All patients are expected to settle their bill immediately in cash, whether they have health insurance or not. The medical receipts can later be claimed by the insurance company or offset against the income tax bill.

The visiting ours for every medical facility may vary. Most doctors operate from 8:00AM to 10AM and then from 3:00PM to 5:00PM, from Monday to Friday. Patients are generally attended to on a first-come first-served basis, so appointments are not required. It is best to arrive early, to avoid a long wait. If required, doctors also conduct house calls. The services provided by public hospitals are quite basic as compared to private hospitals.

People in Italy can call for an ambulance at any time of the day by dialing 118. Some of the other important contact numbers include –

International Medical Center, Rome
Tel: +39 06 488 2371

International Health Center, Milan
Tel: +39 02 7200 4080


Read more about this country



Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Aviva

Health is your number one priority. At Aviva we understand this, which is why we’re focused on helping you and your family access high quality healthcare at home or overseas. Our award winning medical insurance will help you get the treatment you need or simply provide guidance and advice wherever you are, 24/7.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.