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Health System

    • Healthcare is available to everyone residing in Italy through the National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, SSN).
    • The SSN provides a number of healthcare services in either public medical centers or certified private ones. Accessing services can be either free of charge or require a co-pay fee (“the ticket”).
    • These services include:
      • Basic medical care
      • Laboratory tests in a medical center or hospital
      • Ambulance service and emergency doctors
      • Hospitalization and treatment (including laboratory tests, diagnostic examinations, surgery, therapy and medication during hospitalization)
      • Reduced charges for medications covered by the SSN
Health and Medical Assistance

If you stay in Italy for less than 3 months: there are no formalities to take advantage of health services in the Lombardy region: in case you need a visit or to go to hospital, show a valid ID, and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC / TEAM) of the State of origin.

If you are an EU citizen staying in Italy for longer than 90 days, or in any case if you work here, you need to register with the National Health Service.

Once you have registered with the SSN, you can select a family doctor (medico di medicina generale) or a pediatrician for children under 14 years of age. 

Consult with your pediatrician or visit a Family Counseling Center (Consultori Familiari) for information and guidance on vaccinations for minors that are required by law. Learn more in Section 7: Health and Medical Assistance.

You must obtain a healthcare card in order to access the SSN. Anyone registered with the SSN is guaranteed full assistance under the same conditions as Italian citizens. Voluntary registration is valid on the Italian territory only.

To obtain a healthcare card, you must go to the Choice and Revocation Office (Ufficio Scelta e Revoca) of the
ATS Milan Office (Azienda di Tutela della Salute), a local branch of the SSN. Please note you must go to the
branch closest to where you reside.

You can find the nearest Choice and Revocation Office (Ufficio Scelta e Revoca) and hours of operation on serviziterritoriali-asstmilano.it by clicking “Iscrizione al servizio sanitario regionale e scelta del medico” (Registration with the Regional Health Service and Choice of Doctor).

Registration can be either mandatory (for free) or voluntary (for a fee).

  • Mandatory registration is guaranteed to non-EU citizens with a residence permit for work, family, international protection, as well as those awaiting citizenship, fostering or adopting, special cases, special protection, due to a calamity, for civic cases or the medical care art.19, comma 2, letter d-bis residence permit
  • Voluntary registration is needed for non-EU citizens with a residence permit for more than 90 days who are not entitled to mandatory registration. Students, au pairs, religious workers, holders of a residence permit for elective residence, and reunified parents over 65 years of age are examples of those who have to voluntarily register. Voluntary registration with the SSN occurs following a yearly payment (January 1-December 31), and can be extended to dependent family members.
    Holders of visas for health reasons or for tourism, as well as holders of a residence permit lasting less than 90 days, are not entitled to mandatory registration with the SSN. They must pay for healthcare services.

You will need to show your healthcare card each time you use the healthcare system. Your healthcare card will expire when your residence permit expires. In order to renew your healthcare card, you must renew your residence permit first.

EU citizens temporarily staying in Italy can transfer their home country health coverage by requesting the S1 form from the competent authority in their country of origin. Planned therapies can be transferred by requesting the S2 form. 

Find the ASST Milan Office (Azienda di Tutela della Salute), a local branch of the National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, SSN) competent on the address where you reside 
Report to “Ufficio Estero”, or, alternatively, sportello “Scelta e revoca”, bringing a valid ID ( the original plus one photocopy), Tax code card or certificate (the original plus one photocopy) and the S1 form.

  • If you are an employee, bring the contract of work. 
  • If you are an independent worker, bring the certification of registration at the Chamber of Commerce or at a Professional Register or Order along with the certification of VAT issuing or certification of enlisting at INPS, or tax declaration Mod. Unico of the previous year.
  • Dependents of the worker, if over 21 years old: self-certification to be a dependent; spouse: marriage certificate legally translated; children: certificate of birth mentioning both parents, “Carta di Soggiorno per familiare cittadino UE/italiano”, in case of non-EU dependent.
  • If you are currently unemployed, your last work contract, you must self-certify that you are enrolled at “Centro per l’impiego” .
    If you are an EU citizen staying in Italy for longer than 90 days, but you are not holding an S1 form, and you are not a worker, you can register for healthcare for a fee as a voluntary subscriber.

Fees are calculated on your income, except for students.

For more information on terms, costs and documents, go to salute.gov.it or ask your “Scelta e Revoca” office

Family Doctor and Pediatrician

Registration with the SSN entitles you to choose a general practitioner, or a family doctor (medico di medicina generale) and a pediatrician for children under 14 years old. This will allow you free outpatient and in-home medical examinations when the patient’s health prevents them from visiting the doctor’s office. This will also allow you to obtain prescriptions for medications and specialist services. It is the first point-of-contact for non-emergency and preventive medical care accessed during the clinic’s hours during the week (hours vary by clinic).

Refer to your family doctor or pediatrician for free general medical examination and services, such as:

  • Employee’s medical certificate
  • Medical certificate for re-admission into school after sickness
  • Referrals for specialist and diagnostic examinations
  • Request for non-emergency hospital admission
  • Medical prescriptions. Medicine prescribed by your doctor is available at the Pharmacy. Drugs considered

“life-savers” are free or require a co-pay fee (the “ticket”). Drugs that are not included in the SSN services have to be paid in full. 

If your family doctor or pediatrician’s office is closed, you can access an after-hours Healthcare Assistance Service (Servizio di Continuità Assistenziale) by calling 800 193 344 (the specific number for the City of Milan area). You can learn more on ats-milano.it, by clicking “Guida ai Servizi” (Guide to Services), then “Continuità Assistenziale” (Assistance Continuity).

Specialist examinations requested with the SSN are booked by showing a referral (impegnativa) issued by your family doctor or pediatrician. For specialist examinations, you need to pay a co-pay fee (the “ticket”). There are particular cases of total or partial exemption from the co-pay fee, such as disability, chronic diseases, status of disability, low income or age.

You can learn more about who is exempt on regione.lombardia.it, by clicking “Servizi e informazioni” (Services and Information), “Cittadini” (Citizens), “Salute e prevenzione” (Health and prevention), “Prenotazioni, Ticket e Tempi di attesa” (Reservations, tickets and waiting times), then “Ticket ed Esenzioni” (Tickets and Exemptions).

Free Emergency Services 112

112 is the single European emergency number that you can call 24/7 in case of emergency, including access to emergency healthcare. This number is free of charge from all phones including mobile and public telephones and is available throughout all of Italy. Because of a multi-language service with the help of an interpreter, you can speak in a non-Italian language. You can learn more about 112 on 112.gov.it.

If you want to get prepared for any emergency, download on your smartphone and register to the WHEREAREU App. This app can place an emergency call and provide the 112 operators with additional info in real time such as: which emergency are you calling for,  your exact GPS location, and whether you are making an emergency silent call.

What do you say when you call an emergency number?

When you need to call an emergency number, you often are in a stressful situation.
Nevertheless, it is important to provide the operator with precise and correct information about what is going on.

You will be the eyes of the operator: stay calm observe the situation and locate where you are.

Operators are highly trained to ask exactly what is needed to deliver a safe, quick response.

Listen to the operator and answer his questions.

This is what the operator wants to hear from you:

  • The exact location
  • What has happened
  • Whether there are people in threat of life, injured or wounded
  • Who you are

Call 112: when calling, you can choose to speak English.

Calmly wait for the answer. Don’t hang up, because then you will find yourself again at the bottom of the waiting list.

When you have called an emergency number by accident, don’t hang up and tell the operator that everything is fine. This way, the operator is sure that there is no emergency.

Provide the correct address to which the emergency services need to go (city, street, number, intersection, special access, emergency telephone, etc.) and possibly the easiest way to get there. If you don’t call from the place of the incident, tell this to the operator.

If you are using the WHEREAREU app, your GPS location is transmitted automatically to the operator. The operator could ask you again about where you are. It is a normal double-check procedure.

  • Describe what has happened (fire, accident, aggression, burglary, heart attack, etc.).
  • Indicate whether there are persons in danger or wounded and how many.
  • Don’t hang up before the operator says you can.
  • Keep the telephone with you, and keep the line free: the operator will call you back if he/she needs more information.
  • If the situation should deteriorate or improve, then call the emergency centre again to communicate this.

Every phone call with Emergency number 112 is automatically recorded along with its location, calling number and phone id.

Hospital Emergency Room

The emergency room (“Pronto soccorso”) provides a service for health emergencies, such as accidents or life-threatening situations. You can access the emergency room by going there directly or by calling 112.

Birth Registrations

It is mandatory to register the birth of a child within a few days of their date of birth. For married couples, a parent needs to:

  • Present the birth report to the Medical director of the hospital where the child was born within 3 days from the date of birth OR
  • Register the birth at the Anagrafe in the city where the mother’s birth is registered (or the father’s upon agreement) within 10 days of the date of birth OR
  • Register the birth at the Anagrafe in the municipality where the child was born within 10 days of the date of birth. 

Both parents must be present if the child’s parents are not married. In order to register a birth with the municipal Registrar, you need to obtain a birth certificate drafted by the physician who delivered the baby.

Please go to the Civil Status Unit-Birth Office (Ufficio Nascite dello Stato Civile) at the Registry Office (Anagrafe) located at via Larga, 12 (on the first floor) to register the birth of a child or call 02 02 02 for more information.

Family Counseling Centres

Family Counseling Centres (Consultori Familiari) offer health, social and psychological services. You can visit a Family Counseling Centre for information or problems concerning vaccinations for children, pregnancy, postnatal care, contraception, cancer prevention, psychological challenges, and eating disorders.

Both public and private family counseling centers are available.

You can find a list of public and private family counseling centers in the Lombardy region and related contact information on regione.lombardia.it, by clicking “Servizi e Informazioni” (Services and Information), “Cittadini” (Citizens), “Salute e Prevenzione” (Health and Prevention), “Cure Specialistiche e Consultori” (Specialist Care and Consulting), then “La Rete dei Consultori Familiari” (Network of Family Advice Bureaus).

You can also find a cooperative or association that offers mental health support on wemi.milano.it, by clicking 
“Quali servizi” (What Services), “Benessere della Persona” (Wellness of the Person), then “Consulenza Psicologica e Orientamento” (Psychological Advice and Orientation). 


In Italy, some vaccinations are compulsory by law for minors 0-16 years of age, including unaccompanied migrant minors, according to the National Vaccination Calendar (Calendario Vaccinale Nazionale). You can find the list of compulsory vaccinations and a calendar on salute.gov.it by clicking “La Nostra Salute” (Our Health), “Vaccinazioni” (Vaccinations), then “Calendario Vaccinale” (Vaccination Calendar).

You must comply with vaccination requirements in order to enroll your children in pre-school, after-school and school education services. Refer to your pediatrician or Family Counseling Centers for information about vaccinations.


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