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Italy grants public healthcare to illegal immigrant minors

Health coverage and residency extended for pregnant mothers

02 January, 15:31
Italy grants public healthcare to illegal immigrant minors (ANSA) - Rome, January 2 - Underage illegal immigrants are now covered by the Italian national healthcare system thanks to an agreement reached in recent days at a conference for national and regional government relations, Italian Health Minister Renato Balduzzi said in a note published Wednesday.

The concession covers foreign minors holding a social security number but not a residency visa. In Italy, foreigners can obtain a social security number simply by presenting identification, but must meet far more rigorous requirements to obtain a residency visa. The new accord also extends health coverage and residency for undocumented immigrants who are pregnant. Women can now reside in Italy and receive public healthcare for up to one year after the birth of their babies. Previously, undocumented mothers were expelled from the country when their babies reached six months of age. Balduzzi wrote that the initiative supports "article 32 of the (Italian) Constitution" which mandates that "no one is excluded from assistance with a view on equality and justice".