Welcome to Destination Partners

Health and support services

The healthcare system in Italy is a public health service known as Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) focused on a regional basis. It provides people and residents with universal coverage, with public healthcare mostly free of charge. Treatments covered by the available system and a nominal co-payment include exams, medications, hospital surgery, visits to family physicians and medical assistance offered by pediatricians and other specialists.

There are also medications, out-patient services, and dental treatments available. However, public health care facilities in Italy differ depending on the region in terms of quality. If travelers migrate to Italy as residents of the Non-European Union, they would be expected to have private insurance coverage. There is an eight-day window on arrival to visit the nearest police station and present a health policy that is applicable for the length of one’s stay.

Private healthcare

Wealthier Italians and foreigners likewise tend to take cover over and above the basic state cover for private health insurance. Doctors can freely select those with private insurance and can choose to be handled in private hospitals, thereby eliminating lengthy waits and waiting lists to get an appointment. Italy’s private hospitals boast outstanding services. While private hospitals are typically superior in comfort and quality of service, the quality of care is likely to be close to that of public hospitals. It is also worth remembering that, without the help of a private health insurance program, certain services at private hospitals in Italy can be prohibitively costly.

Pharmacies and medication

In Italy, most pharmacies are small, family-run establishments that deal only with medical products. However, they will have most prescriptions. Pharmacists in Italy tend to be competent and effective, and without a doctor’s prescription, it is often possible for pharmacists to prescribe medicine. Foreigners living in larger cities will find that 24-hour pharmacies are readily available. At the same time, it might be difficult for those living in rural areas to buy the prescription they need after hours. Those with state health care would be eligible for discounted rates that decrease most prescription costs. The generic name of every long-term prescription drug is advisable to find out, as brand names from one nation to another, they seem to vary.

Emergency services and important numbers

In the case of a medical emergency in Italy, 118 will be the number to dial. Many with a limited understanding of Italian, however, can fail to find an operator that speaks English. The general EU emergency number, 112, can be used by English speakers and others who speak foreign languages. Emergency facilities tend to be attentive and dependable in Italy. Foreigners should be mindful that in rural areas, waiting times for ambulances can be longer. It is also recommended that tourists and foreigners have the number of the embassy or consulate of their home country within reach in case of emergencies.

Private doctors

In many cases, private doctors do not accept international payments from insurance providers and students will be asked to pay upfront for a visit. Doctors will provide students with receipts or invoices to be reimbursed by the insurance provider. Students who are Italian residents relying on the Italian Healthcare system for coverage should register for a local medico di base in Rome. For information on how to do this, please visit the appropriate ASL Office for your local neighborhood in Rome, or stop by the Office of Student Health & Wellbeing for assistance.

Hospitals and emergency rooms

Students can choose between hospitals that are public and private. Although public hospitals offer both emergency and non-emergency services, private ones usually do not have emergency rooms. The public emergency room in the hospital is called “Pronto Soccorso”. It is generally good, but immediate care can not be given in some situations, and students will have to wait.

Hospitals use the triage system in Italy to obtain access to injuries. This method includes assigning patients arriving at the Pronto Soccorso with a priority colour code: red (extremely critical), yellow (moderate crucial), green (not very critical), and white (not critical). Patients will be shown in the order assigned to the colour code (condition of severity).

There is a charge for non-emergency care rendered by public hospitals. Usually, private hospitals have higher fees than public hospitals. Before leaving a private hospital, students are usually expected to pay fees upfront. Besides, students need to make agreements with the hospital’s administration or with the doctor to benefit from the facilities provided by any private hospitals. It should be noted that in both public and private hospitals, staff and doctors are not expected to speak English, although some of them are able to do so.


It is illegal for medication to be mailed to Italy and it will be stopped by the customs office. Therefore, to last their entire stay in Rome, students can bring enough of their prescription drugs with them (this is also true for contact lenses, preferred over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines and vitamins). Although in Italy, there are several forms of medication, it is essential to remember that American prescriptions are not valid in Italy. ADD / ADHD drugs and other types of abortion are U.S. medications that may not be available.

Students are responsible for confirming that, before their arrival on campus, any prescription they need can be obtained and refilled locally. Relevant queries may be addressed to the Health and Wellness Office regarding this. An appointment with an Italian doctor must be made (students are advised to carry a list of the generic names of their medicine) if a prescription refill is required while abroad. Students should be aware that prices for medication will vary. At the time of purchase, payment is expected and can be made either in cash or by credit card. Reimbursement is contingent on the provider of insurance.


Pharmacies are drug stores that can be found throughout the city easily. The big green cross outside will mark them. Although certain medications are available over the counter, others need the doctor to give them a prescription. Besides, the pharmacist has some medical experience and may advise patients on drugs, including how to take them, what reactions can occur, and how to answer general questions.

Students should be aware that between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM and after 7:30 PM, local pharmacies usually close. Usually, they are closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday all day long. However, by statute, one pharmacy must be open at all times (24 hours/7 days a week), and pharmacies usually share the obligation to be available after hours or on weekends. You will find the publicly advertised rotation list on the door of each pharmacy.

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