Enjoy Public Healthcare in Milano

The Italian National Healthcare Service (SSN – Servizio Sanitario Nazionale) is the public, tax-funded medical assistance, organized and regulated by the Ministry of Health and administered through regional authorities. To access the Italian National Healthcare Service you must hold a valid Tessera Sanitaria (Italian Health Insurance Card) or the equivalent from another EU country (the EHIC card – European Health Insurance Card).

Foreign citizens with regular stay permit are fully entitled to the same rights and treatment as any Italian citizen.

In Milano, public healthcare is provided through regional health units called ATS (Health Protection Agency) and public hospitals. 

Public medical assistance includes a network of primary care physicians and pediatricians. You will be asked to choose your public practitioner ( medico di base, your personal doctor) to get free consultations, referrals and prescription refills.

What is a Tessera Sanitaria?

You will need it when going to a doctor, purchasing a drug in the pharmacy, doing blood analyses, undergoing specialist examinations, diagnostics or requiring admission to a public hospital. 

The Tessera Sanitaria (Italian Health Insurance Card) is not required for visits with private doctors or private tests, including blood tests prescribed by a private doctor.

The registration with the Italian Natiional Health Service (SSN) can be either 1) Mandatory or 2) Voluntary.

  1. Foreign non-EU citizens staying for work, family, international protection, pregnant women, fostering or adoption must register  (fees are in proportion to their income and part of the taxes they pay, the State takes charge of them for minors and people that can't afford them) in the Italian National Health Service (SSN – Servizio Sanitario Nazionale). 
  2. Others (e.g. non-EU students) who are staying for more than 90 days may apply for voluntary (or “optional”) registration by corresponding a relatively small fee (if compared to the prices of the private health insurances).
  3. EU Students and citizens staying more than 90 days can bring their home country coverage to Italy by obtaining European form S1 and use the SSN as a Milanese.

See a step-by-step guide to enrolling in the NHS