Free Health Care for Non-Working Ukrainian Refugees

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, tragic images of the war have spread across the media. We often get news and see scenes of the devastation of cities and fleeing refugees, more than four million have fled their homes, of whom about one hundred thousand have arrived in Italy through a long and grueling journey to our borders.

There have been countless demonstrations of solidarity with them, both logistically and from a purely material point of view. One of the most critical aspects, however, was the possibility of having access to health care from the National Health Service under a co-pay exemption, in case they do not carry out any work activity.

Health Care Co-Pay Exemption

Order No. 895 of May 24, 2022, of the Civil Protection, provides new arrangements to ensure and make more widespread reception of refugees from Ukraine, with particular reference to the exemption of the health ticket for those who do not work. The exemption will be issued to the one who applies for it at the time of the assignment of the general practitioner or pediatrician and lasts until December 31, 2022.

The application for the Residence permit for Temporary Protection protects health care in the same way as Italian citizens, through registration with the Asl of domicile: domicile always means the address that is indicated in the application for the residence permit. Registration can be done at an office or at a counter – called “Choice and Revocation of Doctor” – where it is also possible to opt for the choice of a pediatrician for children.

All chosen doctors have an outpatient clinic within which they must guarantee, at no charge, visits to their patients on predetermined days and times.

What the New Ordinance Provides For

The new Civil Defense Ordinance also provides for:

– The creation of a committee to coordinate the reception of refugees.

– The monitoring of the implementation of reception, through a supervisory activity on the measures implemented.

– The activation of direct collaborations with the national representation of the United Nations High Commissioner’s Office (UNHCR).

Indeed, the exemption of the co-payment for health care costs is a concrete help and act of solidarity towards the victims affected by the war. Access to free care may seem like a small aid, but it helps refugee families more than we can imagine.