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Updated: Mar 20, 2021


  • Life expectancy in Italy is 83.1 years, second highest in Europe after Spain

  • Healthcare per capita spending is EUR 2,483 which is below the EU average (EUR 2,884)

  • In 2017, 8.8% of GDP spending was on healthcare, 1% below the EU average of 9.8%

The Italian Health Service established in 1978. As per the constitution, the Central government collects the taxes and determines the national statutory benefits package. It is the responsibility of 19 regions and two autonomous regions to deliver healthcare services. A general manager appointed by the governor at the local level is responsible for providing the services.

Healthcare system is decentralized in 3 levels

  • National level: The Ministry of Health makes three-year plans, and healthcare policies are made accordingly

  • Regional level: Regional bodies implement healthcare plans based on the resources. Different co-payments exists because of the disparity in the geometry

  • Local level: Local level is responsible for delivering the healthcare services


Public financing accounted for 75.8% of healthcare spending, accounting for 9.1% of GDP. The public sector is financed through a corporate tax (approximately 35.6% of the total in 2012) and a fixed proportion of national value-added tax revenue (approximately 47.3% of the total in 2012).

The regional bodies can generate their own revenues.

The local bodies can raise additional revenues so that the government can make additional spending.

PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM: Private healthcare system plays a minor role in the Italian healthcare system accounting for 1% of total expenditure. Six million people possess additional private health insurance.



The coverage in Italy is universal. All the citizens of Italy and legal foreign residents are covered. Temporary visitors can get healthcare services by paying the cost of therapies.

Service at the point of use is free based on the positive and negative list. Positive list includes pharmaceuticals, inpatient care, preventive medicine, outpatient specialist care, home care, primary care, and hospice care. Negative list includes cosmetic surgery; services covered only on a case-by-case basis (orthodontics and laser eye surgery); and services for which hospital admissions are likely to be inappropriate (cataract surgery).


Patients no need to pay anything for the general practitioner. For specialists, the out-of-pocket payment for specialists is about a maximum of EUR36.15.