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Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in Austria

You will be treated on the same basis as a resident of Austria. Remember, 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 may mean that you have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care. You may be able to seek reimbursement for this cost when you are back in the UK.

It is important that you ensure that you are treated by a state healthcare provider as you will not be covered for private healthcare. You should be particularly careful if the healthcare arrangements have been made by a hotel or travel representative.

Non-EEA nationals are covered in Austria.

 

Where to get information while in Austria

Contact one of the Austrian health insurance offices 'Gebietskrankenkassen' for information. Additionally, you could contact the Hauptverband der Osterreichischen Sozialversicherungstrager for information before leaving the UK.

Hauptverband der Osterreichischen Sozialversicherungstrager
Verbindungsstelle
Kundmanngasse 21
A-1031 Wien
Austria

Telephone: 0043 1 711 320

Information is also available online from the 'Hauptverband der Osterreichische Sozialversicherungen' website. You will find a section named 'Multilingual information' that offers an English version.

Emergency numbers

In case you find yourself in an emergency during your stay in Austria, dial 144. You can also use 112, which is the equivalent for the European Union. You might want to save the number in your phone.

 

Treatment, coverage and costs

Doctors

Treatment will be free of charge as long as the doctor has a contract with one of Austrians regional health insurance offices (Gebietskrankenkasse). In all other cases, you'll be charged. However, you can claim back some of the treatment costs (maximum 80%) from the 'Gebietskrankenkasse'. The 20% is non-refundable in Austria but you may be able to seek reimbursement when you are back in the UK.

Dentists

Only a limited range of dental treatment is available under the state healthcare system. If the treatment you received is covered, and the dentist has a contract with the 'Gebietskrankenkasse' you will not be charged. In all other cases, you'll be charged. However, you can claim back some of the treatment costs (maximum 80%) from the 'Gebietskrankenkasse'. The 20% is non-refundable in Austria but you may be able to seek reimbursement when you are back in the UK.

Hospital treatment

Outpatient treatment is free of charge if you are treated in a hospital that has a contract with the 'Gebietskrankenkasse'. If you are admitted as an inpatient, there will be a daily charge for the first 28 days in hospital. You will need a doctor’s referral.

If you are treated by a private hospital will be charged. You can claim back some of the treatment costs (maximum 80%) from  the 'Gebietskrankenkasse'. The 20% is non-refundable in Austria but you may be able to seek reimbursement when you are back in the UK.

Prescriptions

You can get prescribed medicines from any pharmacy, which will be charged at a standard prescription rate.

Ambulance

Necessary ambulance travel is covered.

Air ambulance

No information available

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

The most common treatments or conditions that require advanced arrangements are listed below. For all other conditions or treatments, you should consult your GP. Remember, for all treatments abroad you must present your EHIC.

Oxygen therapy

Ensure 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 arranging for permission from your hotel to deliver and install the equipment. There may also be additional costs that the EHIC will not cover.

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

Air Liquid: 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

Air Products: covers Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands and Wales. Call them on 0800 373 580.

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 how to make travel arrangements, including advice on:

Ensure you allow plenty of time to make all your arrangements before you travel.

You can also contact the Hauptverband der Osterreichischen Sozialversicherungstrager or one of Austrians health insurance offices (Gebietskrankenkassen) to make the necessary arrangements before leaving the UK.

Hauptverband der Osterreichischen Sozialversicherungstrager
Verbindungsstelle
Kundmanngasse 21
A-1031 Wien
Austria

Telephone: 0043 1 711 320

There is a standard prescription fee and a set fee for a health insurance certificate from an insurance company and a small hire charge for oxygen cylinders. GPs or medical centres will issue a prescription.

Dialysis

You need to speak to the co-ordinator in your UK Dialysis Unit who will contact the dialysis unit in Austria nearest to where you will be staying. However, the provision of dialysis will be subject to availability in Austria. 

Leisure or business - using your EHIC in Austria

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will enable you to access state provided healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed in order to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth.

How to claim refunds

Reimbursements are claimed directly from one of Austrians health insurance offices, Gebietskrankenkassen. You will need to send your original receipts with your claim. Remember to keep copies of anything you send for your records. The maximum amount you might be able to claim back is 80% of what you have been charged. The 20% is non-refundable in Austria but you may be able to seek reimbursement when you are back in the UK.

If you have had to pay for the cost of your care and have been unable to claim a refund during your stay in Austria you should contact the Overseas Healthcare Team (Newcastle) on 0191 218 1999 (Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm) on your return to the UK. However, this process will take longer than claiming for a refund in Austria.

 

Living in Austria

If you're receiving a UK state pension, or in receipt of long-term incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for an E121, which you should then present to the health authorities in Austria.

However, if you move to Austria to live but not work and do not receive a UK benefit, you may be eligible for up to two-and-a-half years of state healthcare cover, paid for by the UK. In this case, you will need to apply for an E106.

For more details on how to apply for an E121 or E106, visit the  'Moving abroad' section.

How to register your E121 or E106

In both cases, you will need to contact your health insurance office (Gebietskrankenkasse) in Austria. Additionally, you might be asked to provide a copy of the original E121/ E106 and a proof of identity.

How to register with a GP

Registration with a GP is not necessary. Once your E121 or E106 has been registered, you will be given an Austrian e-card.

 

Working in Austria

This section applies if you have been issued with an E106

How to register your E106

You will need to contact your health insurance office (Gebietskrankenkasse) in Austria. Additionally, you might be asked to provide a copy of the original E121/ E106 and a proof of identity.

How to register with a GP

Registration with a GP is not necessary. Once your E106 has been registered, you will be given an Austrian e-card.

 

Am I still eligible for treatment under the NHS?

UK citizens registered in another EEA country and using an E106 or E121 are not automatically eligible for free treatment in the UK.

You should also visit the 'Planned treatment abroad' section for detailed information.

 

Page last reviewed: 23/06/2011

Next review due: 23/06/2013

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