If you do not have access to the SSN (Servizio Sanitaro Nazionale) you can always make an appointment with a medico privato (private physician) who operates outside of the system. Ask the doctor’s rate in advance to avoid any surprises or embarrassing moments. You will be expected to pay the doctor at the time services are rendered, by credit or debit card. If you pay in cash, you will not be able to claim those medical expenses on your Italian taxes.
Even if you do have access to the SSN, there may still be times when you prefer to see a doctor outside of the system. Many Italians move back and forth between the national system and private care, depending on what health problems they need to address. For example, there are times when paying for health care outside of the system becomes an effective way of avoiding a long waiting period when the public structures are backed up. For foreigners who haven’t yet mastered the language, paying to see medical professionals who speak English can also be a way of making sure you are able to communicate your health matters effectively. IWF members have recommended the private, English-speaking medical professionals below.
There’s also the third option, a mix of public health and private service. You can see a specialist based at the hospital, outside of her or his regular hours, and a fee is charged for this service, known as libera professione. For options, check at your local CUP (Centro Unico Prenotazioni) point, or at the hospital directly (here’s the info for this service at the Policlinico Sant’Orsola-Malpighi hospital: www.aosp.bo.it). The advantage is that you get to choose your doctor and keep seeing the same person, and the cost is marginally lower than going full private.
Below is a list of some medical doctors who speak fluent English and have been recommended by IWF members:
Dr. Raphael Leizer
Piazza Roosevelt 4
Dr. Maria Cristina Meriggiola
via Massarenti 13
Tel. 051.2144394 for speaking to the doctor
Tel. 051.4206216 for reservations
Dr. Stefania Tabanelli
via Libia 20/6°
For dental appointments through the SSN, refer to any CUP. Waiting lists are long and most Italians see private dentists.
Dr. Carlo Cuzzani
Studio Odontoiatrico Associato
via S. Quasimodo 44
Primo Maggio, Castel Maggiore
Studio Dentistico dott. Corrado Ghidini
via Augusto Murri 45