Overall, the health care system in Italy is a good one, offering an exceptional amount of perks for everyone enrolled. As of 2012, studies have shown that the average life expectancy was around 82.3 years. This was actually two years more than the OECD average.
Once World War II was over, Italy worked to re-establish their social security system to include social health insurance. After a lot of changes and structural reform due to a variety of issues, the Italian government then put out their own version of the National Health Service, which included tax funding and universal coverage. Health care in this system is offered to all residents and citizens through a mixed private and public system. The public portion is the National Health Service, organized through the Ministry of Health and administered regionally.
Patients have the ability to choose as well as change their general practitioner, depending upon availability. Family physicians are paid through the Health Service and they have to offer appointments at least five days each week with a limit of 1,500 patients. Prescription drugs may only be obtained if they are prescribed by a doctor and all over the counter drugs are paid for out of pocked. Visits to any specialists or any diagnostic testing will be provided either by private or public hospitals. If prescribed by the family physician, there is usually only one copay that is due. Many who qualify will even be able to get in to see a specialist with the copay being waived.
With the health care system in Italy, surgeries and hospitalizations in either public or private hospitals are free of charge regardless of income level. There are also a number of benefits when it comes to wellness visits, emergency medical services and other health needs available to all citizens and residents of Italy.