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Italy Travel Guide

Health Care in Italy

Health care in Italy Whether you are going to live in this beautiful country or just want to know more about the health care in Italy, you will find this article useful. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Italy has a health care system with the second highest rated after France. Although it is true, there are things to improve in the health service. A mixed public and private system allow to Italians and residents to access to health care services. Besides, professionals that work in hospitals and clinics are passionate for their career and most of them are well-trained in universities in this country. If you want to apply for a medical job in Italy, you may consider download some nursing CV examples to write your professional nursing resume.

The National Healthcare System in Italy is called “Servizio Sanitario Nazioanale” (SSN), It provides health care free of charge. This system is made up of many different institutions at different levels that contribute to achieving the goals of the public health service. These institutions are:
  • Ministry of Health (organizes the SSN)

  • The Central Institutions and Organs:
    • CSS - Consiglio Superiore di Sanità
    • ISS - Istituto Superiore di Sanità ( Health Superior Institute)
    • INAIL - Istituto Nazionale Assicurazione Infortuni sul Lavoro (National Institute for Occupational Accident Insurance)
    • AGENAS - Agenzia nazionale per i Servizi Sanitari Regionali (National Agency for Regional Health Services)
    • IRCCS - Istituti di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (Scientific Institute for Hospitalization and Care)
    • IIZZSS - Istituti Zooprofilattici Sperimentali (Experimental Institute Zooprophylactic)
    • AIFA - Agenzia italiana del farmaco (Farmaco Italian Agency)

  • The Territorial Institutions and Organs:
    • Regioni e Province autonome (Regional and Autonomous Provinces Institutions)
    • Aziende Sanitarie Locali ( Health Local center )
    • Aziende Ospedaliere (Hospitals)

The Italian National Healthcare System (SSN) includes the set of charitable functions and activities carried out by regional health services, agencies and institutions of the state to ensure the protection of health as a fundamental right. It is a public system that guarantees universal healthcare for all citizens. It is financed through general taxes and direct revenues collected by local health authorities. How we mentioned before, Italy has the second best public healthcare system in the world and this, in terms of public expense efficiency and citizen attention access.

The SSN is also is in charge of medical assistant , treatments, family doctor visits, dental treatments and cover medicines, drugs, etc. European citizens are also allowed to access to this service. Also immigrants who live legally in Italy have the right to have access to essential services such as emergencies, obligated vaccinations, etc, just joining the SSN.

Health care in Italy is characterized by low costs in health care services, but you must know that state hospitals, especially in the South provide a substandard service and that sometimes public hospitals are overcrowded. The private centers offer a good accommodation and services for patients who are covered by private medical insurances. 

If you are a European Union citizen, then reciprocal healthcare agreements will benefit you, so before traveling to Italy you can apply for the certificate of entitlement to treatment (E111). In case you are a non European union citizen, you will be required to have a private insurance cover.

Family doctors

There are doctors that work for the SSN and that perform home visits at least five days per week. Patients can require attention of their family doctors when they need medical attention.

Medical education in Italy

Medical studies in Italy lasts 6 years. After 6 months of an internship in a university clinic, taking a state examination will be required to get a professional authorization. You can also take further education for becoming a specialist enrolling in a technical college at university.

Some medical schools in Italy where you can pursue a medical career are:
  • University of Bologna. It is the oldest medical school in the world. It is ready to compete with other European medical schools. The courses it provides include practical training.
  • University of Genoa. The studies include clinical practice. The school makes researches in sciences such as biochemistry, immunology, biology, etc this way the university contributes to the country with publications and important researches.
  • University of Padova. The medical school of this university has gained a well-known reputation for its anatomical school.
  • University of Florence. The medical school also provides a good education.

    Notes: Phone number for emergencies: 118.

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