and urgent medical care is available at hospital Emergency rooms
at the hospitals with an emergency telephone number, 118, for 24-hour
access to emergency medical assistance throughout Italy. If transport
to a hospital is required, an ambulance is sent - if transport not
required the First Aid Service (Guardia Medica) is sent.
The emergency number is also in contact with the mobile units, hospitals
and other services, which cover emergencies such as the Police and
Medical Assistance & Insurance
The national health system covers only Italian and European citizens,
so visitors who are not covered should ensure they have a medical
insurance policy. The policy should be one that applies overseas
and will cover emergency expenses such as a medical repatriation,
of the insured and dependants. Many medical insurance plans do not
cover health costs incurred outside the home nation unless special
coverage is bought.
A First Aid service, called Pronto Soccorso, makes available
a doctor at airports, railway stations and ports and in all hospitals.
Prescription medicines can only be purchased at pharmacies/chemists,
farmacia. In large cities they may be open throughout the
day until 19.30, but elsewhere keep shop times, 08.30 to 12.30 and
15.00 to 19.30, Monday to Saturday.
Most prescription drugs available internationally are also available
in Italy, but if a medicine is unusual it is advisable to travel
with enough supply for the trip rather than finding it locally or
to avoid the complications of taking out a prescription locally.