Health & insurance
Before You Go
No special health insurance is required in northern Italy. If you’re an EU citizen (or from Switzerland, Norway or Iceland), a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) covers you for most medical care in public hospitals free of charge, but not for emergency repatriation home or nonemergencies. The card is available from health centres and (in the UK) post offices. Likewise, Australian citizens are entitled to free public health care thanks to a reciprocal arrangement with Italy – carry your Medicare card.
Citizens of other countries, including USA, Canada and New Zealand, have to pay for anything other than emergency treatment. Most travel-insurance policies include medical coverage.
No vaccinations are required for northern Italy.
In The Italian Lakes
Availability & Cost of Health Care
Lombardy's health care system is well known for its high standards and efficiency. There are over 200 private and public accredited hospitals in the region, the majority of which are run by the Lombardy Health Service. Most hospital physicians speak English, while a number of nurses and nurse assistants speak other languages, particularly Spanish and Russian. The official working language within hospitals is Italian.
If you need to attend a clinic, and are already on medication, bring them along in their original, labelled containers. If carrying syringes or needles, be sure to have a physician's letter documenting their medical necessity. No jabs are required to travel to Italy.
For emergency treatment, head straight to the pronto soccorso (casualty) section of a public hospital, where you can also get emergency dental treatment (carry your ID/passport and any relevant insurance card).
Tap water is drinkable in northern Italy and Switzerland.
American International Medical Centre Private, international health clinic in Milan with English-speaking staff.
ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII Located 4km west of Bergamo, this modern, state-of-the-art hospital has excellent facilities.
Ospedale Borgo Trento Verona's health centre is of national importance and offers top-quality diagnostics, surgery and outpatient care.
Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Milan's main hospital; offers an outpatient service.