The National Health Service provides Italy’s public healthcare services. This service is provided to all residents in Italy and, according to law provisions, may be completely free of charge or low cost.

The NHS (SSN in Italian) is chiefly controlled by Italian regions, and services provided are managed by Local Health Units or Corporations (ASLs). Services offered to registered citizens are:hospital stays and treatment, family doctor care, specialist care, laboratory services, ambulance service and medicine cost reduction. Registration is compulsory.

How to register

To register it is necessary to go to the ASL in the district of residence, with:

  • valid ID document
  • tax code
  • letter from employer giving employment start date and INPS declaration certifying employment
  • residence permit (soggiorno) or residence permit (residenza) (for non-EU citizens)

The staff of diplomatic or consular offices are entitled to voluntary registration with the NHS. The documentation required for this category is:

  • tax code
  • valid ID document
  • rental contract (attesting to domicile if residence is overseas)
  • certification of Diplomatic Representation attesting to employment at the diplomatic seat in question

In such cases an annual contribution/tax is payable, depending on yearly income and subject to reciprocity agreements.

After filling in the registration form, it is necessary to choose a GP, or family doctor, in one’s zone of residence.
At the end of the registration procedure the citizen receives the NHS registration number.

More information
National Health Service
Healthcare regulations