Okay, first, I do NOT want to sound like one of those people who want dual citizenship to take advantage of Italy's healthcare - that's not why I became interested in this at all.
BUT, lately, my brother has been having a lot of trouble with his teeth. They're in really bad shape. A few months ago they were causing inner ear bleeding and my sister and mother had to pay $600 just to get that particular problem fixed. He's still in a lot of constant pain. Everyones been trying to help him out, but there's only so much we can manage.
Then it occurred to me, if he gets dual citizenship, maybe he can use their health system to get his teeth fixed (again, I hate the idea of using it like that, but he's really very desperate).
So, my questions are, does Italy provide dental care? Can you use their healthcare system if you're not a resident of Italy?
Unfortunately, I don't believe dentistry is covered. In fact, dental care is considered expensive for Italians, however by US standards, it can be enough of a bargain that people from the US and even other EU countries have been known to go to Italy when needing extensive dental work.
Regardless of citizenship...
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Carmine, is it ever covered under specific, non cosmetic, circumstances? Like I said, he had bleeding in his inner ear because of this. Yeah, his are bad. They're as bad as I imagine anyones teeth could get! Wouldn't this be considered a health problem?
Hi. Firstly, in order to benefit from any health service in Italy, you must hold legal residence. And yes, dentistry, dental surgery, etc., IS covered at the Ospidale Civile for those who don't want to or can't afford to pay a dentist in private practice. Please note, however, that some of the dentists in private practice also practice at the civil hospital. For example, they may work at the hospital in the morning or three times a week and the rest of the time, practice in their own office. In Italy, you have a choice but you have to live there.
To elaborate. You don't have to have a major problem to see a dentist at the civil hospital. For example, if you need dentures, you can go to a dentist at the hospital. By the way, most Dentists in Italy are not just dentists. They don't go to Dental school as in the USA. They go to medical school and usually practice more than one specialty. My dentist in Italy is a dental surgeon and a Rhumatologist and he's the best dentist I have ever seen.
You could always try posting some questions on expatsinitaly.com - maybe there is someone who frequents the forum that has had serious dental concerns and may be able to provide more insight. Hope your brother finds some relief.
@jennabet: I wonder if this is another example of regional/provincial differences in the Italian national healthcare system? Your comments run contrary to most of what I have read on this subject, leaving me somewhat confused.
@Squiggy: You may be onto something; I believe even here in the US, severe dental problems can eventually rise to the level of becoming a "medical" issue and thus some level of care would be covered by typical medical insurance even though routine dental care is not.
@Squiggy (again): have you looked into locating the nearest dental school? Most of them provide free or very low cost services performed by dental students and their teachers. Your brother's dental problems being so severe, a school might be interested if only for the educational value to be gained from treating him.
@Carmine, I believe a few months ago (when he had the inner ear bleeding), his situation was finally treated as an emergency and he was given some care to relieve that particular issue. But like I said, it cost $600 to get that done, and it didn't come CLOSE to fixing the whole problem.
Anyway, about the schools; those links seem to say they only provide assistance those of a certain age. My brother is 27. Would he be eligible for this kind of program?
Kontessa, I was actually just on Expats a couple weeks ago, and I got a virus from it They must be having a problem with their site.
Carmine, I don't know about any "regional" differences in healthcare because I have only lived in one region and it happens to be a region where many foreigners do not live as opposed to regions such as Tuscany, Umbria, etc., which do attract a lot of foreigners. If there is indeed a difference in costs and services in those places, perhaps it's because the foreigners living there have helped to raise the cost of living for everyone concerned. For this reason, the Abruzzese are making sure that what happened in Tuscany, where many Italians can no longer afford to live, doesn't happen in Abruzzo.
Your brother must be living in italy to be under italian health care. For italian citizen of AIRE (it means having legal residence abroad), italian citizens living in italy have health care only for urgent stuff, and only for 90 days a year, and on his health card there is not name of family doctor, only for urgent stuff. If he is italian citizen and legal redisent of italy, his health is covered by italian health system, if he lives in italy as a legal resident and as a non european citizen, he has to pay 150 euros a year for health care. Your brother situation seems to be urgent. In anyway, he has to live in italy, bye Riccardo