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Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in Croatia

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS. This means you may have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will allow you to access public healthcare provided in Croatia at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover your treatment until you return to the UK. It also covers treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, as long as the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth

If you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, please see our section about seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Note: You may be asked to present your passport or other travel documents as proof of identity.

Get the EHIC smartphone app

The European Commission has developed a useful multi-language free phone app, which explains how to use the EHIC card in different countries within the EU. It summarises the treatments, costs, procedure for reimbursement and emergency numbers.

Find help in emergencies

If you find yourself in a serious or life-threatening emergency, or you need an ambulance, dial 112. Calls are free of charge from any phone, including mobile phones. Ambulance services are free in Croatia.

When you call emergency services in Croatia, you will have to provide the following information:

  • your name
  • the nature of the incident
  • what time the incident occurred
  • where the incident occurred
  • if there are any injured or ill people, and how severe the injuries are
  • what kind of help you're looking for (fire, ambulance, etc)

Other important phone numbers to note down:

  • 192 – police
  • 193 – fire brigade
  • 194 – ambulance services
  • 195 – sea rescue
  • 1987 – roadside help (00385 1 987 from foreign mobile phones)

Health services and costs

Your EHIC does not cover private treatment, so you will need to make sure you are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund – CHIF (Hrvatski zavod za zdravstveno osiguranje-HZZO).

You should be particularly careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are non-refundable.

Contact the CHIF for more advice before you travel. Call 00385 1 4806 333 from the UK. The CHIF website also offers information in English, including advice on:

Doctors, dentists and pharmacies

All Croatian citizens pay a mandatory healthcare contribution. Even with your EHIC, you may be asked to make a co-payment when visiting a doctor, dentist or receiving a prescription. Co-payments in these cases are generally HRK10.00 and are not refundable in Croatia. Make sure you have your UK passport and EHIC card with you.

Since July 1 2014, you can also no longer be reimbursed for patient co-payments made abroad once you go back to the UK

If you move to Croatia long term or plan to work in the country, you'll have to pay the same healthcare contributions as a Croatian citizen and register with the CHIF. You will be asked to pay 20% of the actual treatment cost. 

The CHIF does not reimburse any costs you might have been charged. Despite this, keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed to apply for reimbursements with your private insurance company. 

If it is not an emergency, you'll have to make an appointment before you can see a doctor. Make sure the GP, dentists or pharmacy is contracted with the CHIF. You’ll have to pay a mandatory co-payment of HRK10.00 for each visit. Pharmacies are marked with a green cross in Croatia.

Hospital treatment

Just like in the UK, you'll need a doctor's referral for non-emergency hospital treatment. Make sure you are treated by a hospital contracted to the CHIF. When you're admitted to hospital, you'll need to present either a valid EHIC and your UK passport or prove you have registered with the CHIF to receive treatment at the same cost as a resident. For each day you stay in hospital, you’ll need to pay a HRK100 co-payment, but no more than HRK2,000 for one course of treatment.

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

Although your EHIC covers the provision of oxygen, renal dialysis and routine medical care, you'll have to arrange and pre-book medical treatment before you travel. You should always consult your GP or hospital before travelling. Make sure you are not booked with a private healthcare provider, as these are not covered by the EHIC.

Oxygen therapy

Make sure your EHIC is valid before you travel. In most cases, you will have to use the authorised oxygen company for the country you are travelling to. You’ll also have to make your own arrangements, including getting permission from your hotel to deliver and install the equipment. There may also be additional costs that the EHIC will not cover. Since July 1 2014, you can no longer be reimbursed for patient co-payments once you go back to the UK. Ensure you have a sufficient level of private insurance before you go abroad.

Making arrangements in Croatia

Oxygen equipment can be leased from Duro Dakovic Aparati d.d. The website provides information in English.

Dr. Mile Budaka 1
35000 Slavonski Brod
Telephone: 035 446 984
Fax: 035 447 789
Email: bojan.veljic@dd-aparati.hr or iva.kljajic@dd-aparati.hr

Making arrangements in the UK

Your home oxygen supplier is not required to provide a service outside the UK; however, most suppliers can advice you on what to do. Your oxygen treatment clinic will organise your home oxygen supply from one of these suppliers:

Air Liquide: Call them on:

  • 0808 143 9991 for London
  • 0808 143 9992 for North West
  • 0808 143 9993 for East Midlands
  • 0808 143 9999 for South West

Baywater Healthcare: covers Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands and Wales. Call them on 0800 373 580. For more information, visit the Baywater Healthcare website.

BOC: covers the East and North East of England. Call them on 0800 136 603.

Dolby Vivisol: covers the South of England. Call them on 0500 823 773.

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) may have additional oxygen contacts for the country you are travelling to. Their website offers general advice about travelling abroad with a lung condition.

Make sure you allow plenty of time to make all your arrangements before travelling.

Dialysis

You will need to speak to the co-ordinator in your UK Dialysis Unit, who will contact the dialysis unit in Croatia nearest to where you will be staying. You can look up UK renal units on The Renal Association website.

Hospitals with renal units in Croatia

All major hospitals and health care centres in Croatia provide dialysis subject to availability. A list of hospitals, including contact details is provided on the Djjaliza.hr website (information in Croatian only).

It is necessary to book at least one month ahead. You’ll need to send all necessary medical and dialysis documentation to the hospital. You’ll be charged a 20% contribution towards the cost of your treatment (up to a maximum of HRK2,000), which is not refundable.

Make arrangements according to your UK schedule. There may be different guidance, depending on what type of dialysis you receive. Make sure you speak to your doctor before you travel. The National Kidney Federation website offers general advice about travelling with a kidney disease, as well as specific guidance for haemodialysis patients, peritoneal dialysis patients, and guidelines for transplant patients.

Read more advice about travelling with other conditions:

Living in Croatia

British citizens need to register their presence in Croatia with the local police within 48 hours of arrival. Failure to do so is an offence, which may result in paying a fine at both the local court and the local police. If you need more information about residence in Croatia and wish to contact the authorities, you can do so by contacting the Ministry of Interior at pitanja@mup.hr or javnost@mup.hr

Everyone who is eligible for health insurance in Croatia is registered with the CHIF. This is the only organisation in Croatia that deals with compulsory health insurance. Once you are registered with the relevant authorities, you are entitled to necessary medical treatment and you'll have to pay the same patient contributions as a permanent resident of Croatia.

Working in Croatia

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Croatia, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in Croatia. Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for more details:

National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AN
United Kingdom

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3506
  • Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010
  • Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday – closed weekends and bank holidays

For more information, visit the Moving abroad section.

Further guidance for British nationals living in Croatia is can be found on the GOV.UK website. 

Pensioners

If you live in Croatia and you receive an exportable UK Pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 form.

For exportable UK pensions and contribution-based Employment Support Allowance, you can apply for your form via the International Pension Centre at the Department for Work and Pensions on 0191 218 7777.

You may need to liaise with a different team, depending on the exportable benefit. Further information is available under claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

Once issued, register the S1 form with the relevant authority in Croatia. Often you need to do this before you can register for healthcare or obtain a medical card.

Once you have registered your S1 in Croatia, you will be entitled to apply for and use a UK-issued EHIC to access state-funded necessary medical treatment when you visit other EEA countries.

Early retirees

Since July 1 2014, you are no longer able to apply for a residual S1 form. If you already have a residual S1, this will not affect you – it will continue to be valid until its original expiry date. Read more about the new rules.  

For information on entitlements for students, please visit the Studying in Croatia website.

 

Page last reviewed: 09/09/2015

Next review due: 09/09/2017

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