Healthcare in Italy



In 2009, there are 1.241 hospitals in Italy.


1.172 are either “public hospitals” (638) or “accredited private hospitals” (534) within the National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN), while 69 are “not-accredited private hospitals” and operate outside the SSN.


Find out more about hospitals in Italy:

  • 66% of public hospitals are run by Local Health Authorities (ASL), which are independent public organizations. They organize and provide healthcare services within their territory through public hospitals and accredited private clinics. 12% are Independent Hospitals (Aziende Ospedaliere) with a high level of specialization in specific medical areas and 22% are University Hospitals.
  • 41% of public and “accredited private hospitals” (SSN hospitals) are medium-size hospitals (121-400 beds). 26% have big-size (400+ beds) and 16% of them have more than 600 beds. 33% are small-size hospitals and one third of them are in the Center-South, while the vast majority of medium and big hospitals are in the Center-North, particularly in the regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.
  • 51% of SSN hospitals have an emergency department, 15% of which are also specialized for children, and 59% of them have an intensive care unit.
  • Hospital admissions for residents over 65 years of age decreased 11% between 2006 and 2009, however there is a simultaneous slight increase of total admissions for the whole population (1.7%).



In 2009, hospital admissions are 120 per 1.000 residents, with significant regional differences.


The total number of hospital beds for acute patients is 212.000, and 37.000 for long-term care and rehabilitation, which correspond to 3.5 and 0.6 beds per 1.000 population, respectively.


20% of inpatients beds are available in accredited private hospitals, while the vast majority of outpatient beds for medical (23.000) and surgical (8.000) treatments are available in public hospitals (91% and 81%, respectively).


The number of beds varies from region to region with Molise on the high end and Umbria and Campania on the low end.


In 2011, patients’ satisfaction with reference to the healthcare service provided by hospitals remarkably varies from region to region: it is higher than average in all regions of the North (except in Liguria) and in Umbria, while in the South patients’ dissatisfaction is extremely widespread and in some regions accounts for 85% of hospitals’ patients.


The highest quality of healthcare service provided by hospitals, in terms of appropriateness and effectiveness of the medical treatment associated with patients’ satisfaction, can be found in the regions of Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, the autonomous province of Trento, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, while the lowest levels can be found in Campania and Sicily.


In 2009, the National Health Service (SSN) has 823.000 employees. 70.3% are healthcare providers, 18.2% technicians and 11.5% work in administration and finance. There are 144.000 physicians and 311.000 nurses, with a ratio of 2.2 nurses per physician.


In 2009, primary care is provided by 46.000 general practitioners (GP) and by 7.700 pediatricians, with an average of 1.100 and 850 patients each, respectively.