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Healthcare in Italy

Healthcare in Italy

How to access the Italian Healthcare System

Ensuring your health is taken care of in Italy is a priority for all second home buyers.  Healthcare in Italy is very good, and most towns and cities have both private and public hospitals and clinics.


If you plan to spend limited periods of time in Italy, obtaining a European Health Insurance card will allow you access to medical treatment.


If you are resident, remaining in Italy on a permanent basis, you must register with the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale). Once you have presented them with your:

you will recieve a healthcard (Tessera Sanitaria) and a National Health Number. Then, you will be able to register with a GP. Your tessera (healthcard) entitles you to free treatment as an inpatient, as well as outpatient treatment, such as tests and consultations.

If you are self-employed, your should register with the Istituto Nazionale di Previdenza Sociale (INPS). They will issue you with your healthcard, and sign you on to a GP.

If your GP is not available the alternative is a Locum (Guardia Medica). Should you require a visit, they will come to your home. The Guardia Medica doctors can issue prescriptions, medical certificates, and advise on additional treatment.

If you are not working or retired, obtaining medical cover will be slightly different. You will be required to take out medical insurance before you are granted residency, giving you access to private hospitals and clinics for your treatment.

Prescriptions and Chemists 

You’ll find that nearly all towns and cities in Italy have 24-hour pharmacies that stock a huge range of over-the-counter medicines. As it the case in the UK, all of your prescriptions can be picked up at these chemists.

Important telephone numbers

If you have a health emergency call the emergency services on 118.


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