Overview of Italian Health Care
Italy ranks among the World Health Organization’s top 10 countries for quality health services (by contrast, the U.S. only holds 37th place, despite being the highest spender.) However, although medical facilities are considered to be adequate for any emergencies, many public hospitals are overcrowded and under-funded.
Of course, you don’t have to rely solely on public health facilities. Like many Italians, you can avail of the parallel private medical service that caters for patients covered by private medical insurance.
However, in some small towns, particularly in the south, you will only be able to access the public health system—private doctors and hospitals congregate in bigger cities where residents are more likely to have private medical insurance.
Italy has a national health plan (ServizioSanitarioNazionale), which provides for hospital and
medical benefits. U.S. and Canadian citizens who are legally resident in Italy can apply to join the plan. Eligibility for the plan depends on certain criteria, (i.e. your nationality, work permit, etc.)
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