The U.S. Embassy in Rome and the Consulates General in Milan, Florence and Naples prepared the following listings of hospitals, English speaking doctors, ambulances, laboratories and pharmacies as a service to U.S. citizens. The lists are available through the links in the box on the right.
We welcome both favorable and unfavorable comments concerning the performance of doctors and medical facilities listed. Such comments will assist us when reviewing the lists every three years.
An Overview of the Italian National Health System
In Italy, patients are free to choose between public hospitals and private hospitals. Public hospitals normally provide both emergency and non-emergency services. At public hospitals, patients may receive emergency services at no cost or upon payment of a limited contribution, depending on the public hospital’s policy. Non-emergency services provided by public hospitals are subject to a fee.
Public hospitals’ quality standards may be different from those of American hospitals. However, Italian public hospitals must meet quality standards and criteria established by Italian law and are normally equipped to provide emergency services.
In case of an emergency, for immediate medical attention or to call an ambulance dial 112 from any telephone in Italy. No country code is necessary if calling from within Europe.
Private hospitals do not normally have emergency rooms. To be admitted to a private hospital, it is usually necessary to make arrangements with the hospital’s administration or directly with a doctor affiliated with the private hospital prior to being admitted.
Private hospitals normally have higher fees than public hospitals. Patients in private hospitals are generally required to pay fees upfront before leaving the hospital. (Patients with insurance may subsequently seek reimbursement from their insurance companies.) Some private hospitals may be “accredited” which means that fees can be reimbursed by the Italian National Health Service if the patient is an official resident in Italy and affiliated with the National Health System. It is highly recommended that tourists obtain medical insurance with overseas coverage before travelling to Italy.
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Medical personnel working in Italy are not required to speak English. However, some doctors may be able to communicate in English.
Should travelers have any medical issues or questions regarding medicine while staying in Italy, they should contact one of the English speaking doctors available on this website.
Medical Escorts and Medical Evacuation
When a U.S. citizen becomes ill in Italy and requires assistance to fly back to the US, he/she could hire a medical escort. Generally, when a medical escort is hired, a physician with basic medical equipment accompanies the patient on board a commercial airline flight. Costs can vary from 3,000 to 6,000 US dollars excluding expenses. U.S. citizens seeking a medical escort could consult with the physicians or hospitals on this list to see about hiring a medical escort.
If the patient requires additional assistance, he/she may decide to be medically evacuated and hire an air ambulance service. An air ambulance is an aircraft that gives immediate medical assistance in case of emergencies. Each air ambulance is normally equipped with medical equipment along with specialized medical personnel to care for the patient’s needs. Family members are usually allowed to accompany the patient. For a listing of air ambulances, please see the “Country Specific Information – Health” webpage on the State Department website.