The health service and insurance

Health service
11. 7. 2013

State-run and private medical facilities exist in the Czech Republic.

Most of them have concluded a contract with an insurance company on provision and settlement of costs for healthcare and only provide insured patients with the essential care subject to settlement of the excess as stipulated by law; this relates to citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein who have a European health insurance card.

First aid, emergency and rescue service

Healthcare is also ensured in the event of sudden illness or injury outside of surgery hours in the emergency departments in hospitals.

In cases of sudden serious illness when the patient cannot make his or her own way to the doctor and when swift treatment is necessary, you must call the rescue service on the emergency number 112.

Pharmacies

Medicines to relieve flu or a cold and other similar preparations can be purchased without a prescription. A prescription from a doctor is required to purchase other medicines.

A prescription from the emergency services is valid on the date of issue and the following day, prescriptions for antibiotics are valid for three days. All other prescriptions are valid for a week.

Insurance

Health insurance for foreigners from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

In order to be able to use medical care in the Czech Republic, you must have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In terms of treatment in medical facilities in the Czech Republic, this proves that you are insured and that medical care will be paid for by your insurance company.

However, the insured party of one EU member country is only entitled to essential medical care within the territory of another member country according to the nature of the illness and expected length of stay. On the basis of the card, the insurance company will not pay for anything above the framework of essential care and will not even settle the excess stipulated by the local laws. This excess is payable at the following levels in the Czech Republic:

  • Visit to a GP – CZK 30
  • Item on a prescription – CZK 30
  • Emergency treatment – CZK 90
  • A day in hospital – CZK 60
  • Visits to a dentist are billed in a specific manner.

Recommendation: Arrange additional commercial insurance which can cover these fees before you travel.

Health insurance for foreigners from countries outside the EU

If you do not have permanent residency within the EU, you must conclude a commercial insurance policy. If you do not have this, you will have to pay for all care on the spot in cash.

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