Access to the National Health Service (SSN)

Access to the National Health Service (SSN)

If you are an non-EU citizen with a regular residency permit for work, you and your family have the right to health care provided by the National Health Service, for the entire duration of the validity of your residence permit. Registration with the SSN will give you access to the health-care card (tessera sanitaria) and allow you to choose your general practitioner from a list compiled by the Local Health Authority (AUSL).

If you are a EU citizen, you have the right to enroll in the national health service if you stay in Italy for more than three months and are in the documented condition of: worker or his family member, or family member of an Italian citizen, or in possession of a certificate municipal residence in Italy for at least 5 years, or in a state of involuntary unemployment and registered at the Employment Center or enrolled in a professional training course, or holder of a European document E106, E109 (or E37), E120, E121 (or E33). 

The AUSL of Bologna includes 46 municipalities and therefore has jurisdiction over the metropolitan area: it is divided into 6 territorial districts, ranging from the plains to the Bolognese Apennines and including the city of Bologna. 

The AUSL of Imola is responsible for the Imola area and includes the municipalities of Borgo Tossignano, Casalfiumanese, Castel del Rio, Castel Guelfo, Castel San Pietro Terme, Dozza, Fontanelice, Imola, Medicina and Mordano. 

To register you can contact the local health authority of the municipality of residence or that of domicile indicated in the residency permit. 

For further information: 


How to sign up for National Health Service

Any EU citizen residing in Italy for more than three months has the right to sign up for the National Health Service as long as citizen can document the belonging to one of the following categories: 

  • a worker or worker's family member
  • a family member of an Italian citizen
  • in possession of a municipal declaration of residence in Italy for at least 5 years
  • in the case of involuntarily unemployment and duly registered to the Employment Office (Centro per l’impiego)
  • enrolled in a professional training course
  • holding one of the following EU documents: E106, E109(o E37), E120, E121 (o E33).


EU citizens who have registered their residence in Emilia-Romagna can take out a private health insurance contract or, alternatively, voluntarily enroll in the public health service by paying a contribution fee (for more information, contact one of the Reservation Centers, called CUP - Centro Unico di Prenotazione, in your area). Registration is valid for one consecutive year, from 1 January to 31 December and cannot be applied retroactively. 


For further information: 


Adults who have been advised to receive recommended vaccinations, whether due to risky health, work, or family situations or because they are embarking on international travel, or as part of organized vaccination campaigns, can receive them at the vaccination clinics of the Local Health Units (Aziende USL, AUSL). These structures can also administer vaccines to minors in case of international travel. 

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Booking medical exams and tests

You can book visits and exams either at one of the various Reservation Centers, CUP desks located throughout the area, including in many local pharmacies, or by using the CUP telephone service or via internet using CupWeb. If you need to see a specialist services, you will usually need a written request, called ricetta, prescrizione or impegnativa, from your general practitioner or from another specialist. 

For further information:

Family doctors

Registration with the National Health Service gives you the right to choose your family doctor (general practitioner) and/or a designated pediatrician. Children from 0 to 6 years are compulsorily registered with a local pediatrician of your choice. The choice of doctor is made at the offices of your the Local Health Unit District, AUSL, from a list of local doctors and pediatricians. 

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Private specialists

The Local Health Authorities (AUSL) of Bologna and Imola can help you find quality professional private healthcare services from within their own ranks. 

Follow this link to find useful information regarding local private healthcare specialists, services, rates, locations and hours.


For further information:

On-line services

The list of services provided on line by the Bologna and Imola Health Authorities (AUSL) is in continual expansion and already includes the possibility to make appointments, pay for medical exams, change doctors, access your medical records and much more.


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Pharmacy opening hours

Each individual city in the Emilia-Romagna region sets its own hours of operation for its pharmacies. In Bologna pharmacies must remain open Mon-Fri from 8:30am to 12:30pm and from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. For emergencies, local pharmacies take turns being open nights and weekends. Consult the following web pages or the signs posted outside each pharmacy to know which is available. 


For further information: