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Unforeseen medical treatment - Italy

Emergency

  • For medical emergencies: call 118 (free of charge)

Treatment, coverage & costs

Doctors

  • You can use your valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if the doctor you are visiting belongs to the statutory healthcare system (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN) or has an agreement with it ('accreditamento').
  • Private practices do not have to accept the EHIC.
  • Public doctors' practices are open Monday to Friday. Surgery hours vary, but are usually open in the morning and the afternoon.
  • Need urgent care? Doctors' surgeries in public hospitals are open every day.
  • For urgent hospital treatment, you may have to pay some of the costs yourself (this part is called a ticket).
  • Fees charged for medical services are not reimbursed in Italy. When you get home, you may be able to make a claim for reimbursement with the health insurance fund/service that issued the EHIC.

Dentists

  • Dentists in Italy are private medical practicioners. As a result, they do not have to accept the EHIC so you need to pay the full amount.
  • In exceptional and urgent circumstances, and if the SSN has a clinic that provides dental treament, you might be able to use your EHIC if you pay some of the costs yourself.

Hospital treatment

  • Before leaving home, check with the health insurance fund/service that issued the EHIC if you are entitled to treatment from day of your stay in Italy. Ideally, you should get a written confirmation from them.
  • Ask the local health authority ('Azienda sanitaria locale' or 'ASL') for a list of hospitals that belong to the SSN or have an agreement with it.
  • Show a valid EHIC at the hospital.

Prescriptions

  • You can buy some medicines without prescription - ask your pharmacist.
  • For some prescriptions, you only need to pay part of the prescription charge, while others are charged in full. In any case, you will have to pay upfront even if you show your EHIC. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist.
  • Always show your EHIC when asking for a prescription from a doctor who belongs to the SNN or who has an agreement with it. Also show it to the pharmacist when buying prescription-only medicines.
  • A fee is payable for most prescribed medicines.
  • Prescription charges are not reimbursed in Italy. Ask your health insurance fund/service about reimbursement when you get home.
  • Over-the-counter medicines – those sold without a prescription – are not reimbursed.

Ambulance

  • Free in an emergency if the ambulance belongs to the SSN or healthcare services that have an agreement with it.
  • For non-emergency patient transport, you may have to pay some or all of the costs.
  • Ambulance charges are not reimbursed in Italy. When you get home, ask the health insurance fund/service that issued your EHIC about reimbursement.

Air ambulance

  • Free in an emergency if the ambulance belongs to SSN or healthcare services that have an agreement with it.
  • For non-emergency patient transport, you may have to pay all the costs.
  • Ambulance charges are not reimbursed in Italy. When you get home, ask the health insurance fund/service that issued your EHIC about reimbursement.

Reimbursement

  • No fees are reimbursed in Italy.
  • Whenever you have to pay a fee, a portion of this is never reimbursed. This part is called the ticket.
  • If you have to paid for healthcare, ask your health insurance fund/service when you get home about reimbursement.

Patient contribution

  • You may have to pay a contribution/individual share (called a ticket) for treatment. The amount depends on the type of treatment and the region where you are staying.
  • You may be charged for emergency care if you are not admitted to hospital. Ask the nearest local health authority for more information.

Dialysis, oxygen & chemotherapy

Check availability several weeks before you travel: contact the nearest local health authority in the area where you will be staying.

List of doctors or hospitals

Please contact the local health authorities for more information.


Loss of card

Contacts for holders of EHICs issued in Italy

  • If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the police.
  • You should also ask the health insurance fund/service that issued the card for a temporary replacement certificate
  • In an emergency, this certificate can be faxed or emailed it to the nearest local health authority.