Italian Healthcare System

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To benefit of Italian Heathcare System if you're not an EU citizen you need to register to the Italian SSN first. If you come from a EU country, you can check Rules for EU citizens.

For information about emergency situations, check this page.

To learn more about hospital facilities and how to be assigned a general practitioner, you can read Doctors, Hospitals and Appointments.

To look up the list of Pharmacies in Trieste, you can look up the page Pharmacies.


Primary care is provided by general practitioners, paediatricians and self-employed and independent physicians working alone under a government contract who are paid a capitation fee based on the number of people (adults or children) on their list. Although primary care physicians are given financial incentives to share clinic premises with their colleagues, they usually work in single practices.

General practitioners and paediatricians initially assess the patient and are expected to provide most primary care. They act as gatekeepers for access to secondary services. They write pharmaceutical prescriptions and certifications and visit patients at home if necessary. People may choose any physician they prefer,provided that the physician’s list has not reached the maximum number of patients allowed (1800 for general practitioners and 1000 for paediatricians).


Ambulatory Services

Specialized ambulatory services, including visits and diagnostic and curative activities, are provided either by local health units or by accredited public and private facilities with which local health units have agreements and contracts. People are allowed to access specialist care only after approval by their general practitioner, who is responsible for the referral. Once the general practitioner has authorized the visit or the procedure, people are free to choose their provider among those accredited by the NHS. A 100% co-payment with a maximum of €52 is required as an additional source of financing and in an attempt to moderate the use of specialist ambulatory care. Tests for monitoring chronic conditions and treatment requested by people with low income are provided free of charge.

Hospital Care

Starting in 1994, local health units and to major hospitals (highly specialized hospitals with national relevance) were given financial and technical autonomy. The major hospitals were given the status of independent trusts. The rest of the public hospitals were kept under the direct management of local health units. In addition, patients were given the choice of opting for private, contracted-out hospitals required to be accredited by the government.

Patients’ free choice includes either receiving treatment from the structures within their local health unit or choosing a provider in another local health unit (within the same region or in another region). Thus, local health units have to pay for the treatment provided to their residents by providers located in other regions or local health units (outward mobility) and, in turn, they receive payments for the health care provided to patients coming from other regions (inward mobility).

The source is Italian Healthcare Report published in 2001.