Emergencies in Italy

Emergencies in Italy

The right to medical care is recognized by law in Italy, and it is actually often denied to immigrants, foreigners, poor people who do not have access to treatment because of their scarce knowledge of their rights, as well as the linguistic barriers and the difficulty in finding their way within a complex health system.

Emergency advices

While travelling to any foreign country it is important to know what to do in case of an emergency. Here are some helpful tips for you.

  1. Keep a record of the telephone numbers of your doctor, local hospital and clinic, ambulance service, dentist and other emergency services (fire, police) next to your telephone.
  2. Emergencies in ItalyEmergency numbers are also displayed prominently at the front of all telephone directories. If you’re unsure whom to call, dial the free national emergency number 113 and you will be put in touch with the relevant service.
  3. In a life-threatening emergency, such as a heart attack or serious accident, call the free public first-aid number 118. State clearly where you’re calling from and the nature of the emergency, and give your name and the telephone number from where you’re calling. Don’t hang up until the operator asks you to. The appropriate emergency service is sent to you. Provided you call in response to a genuine emergency, you won’t be charged for the use of the emergency services.
  4. If you need an ambulance (ambulanza), call the local ambulance service (pronto soccorso ambulanza). Most ambulances are equipped with cardiac equipment for emergency heart cases.
  5. If you need urgent medical treatment outside surgery hours and cannot get to your nearest casualty department, call the local duty doctor service ( guardia medica). This service is usually available from 8pm to 8am on weekdays and from 2pm on Saturdays (and the day before a public holiday) until 8am on the Monday (or the day after a public holiday).
  6. If you have an existing medical problem that cannot easily be seen or recognised, e.g. a heart condition, diabetes, a severe allergy or epilepsy, or you have a rare blood group, you may wish to join MedicAlert. MedicAlert members wear an internationally recognised identification bracelet or necklace, on the back of which is engraved details of your medical condition, your membership number and a 24-hour emergency phone number. When you’re unable to speak for yourself, doctors, police or paramedics can obtain immediate, vital medical information from anywhere in the world by calling this number.

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