You are here:

Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in Estonia

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 state-provided healthcare in Estonia 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, provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth.

If you don't have your EHIC with you or you've lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

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.

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

The Estonian tourist information website offers advice for people travelling with special needs, such as wheelchair users or the blind and partially sighted. The information is provided in English.

Find help in emergencies

If you find yourself in a serious or life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance, dial 112. Ambulance transport is free of charge in an emergency.

Other important phone numbers to note down:

  • 112 – emergencies including police and fire brigade 
  • 1220 – if you need medical advice, call the family practitioners information line (00 372 630 4107 if you call from the UK)
  • 16363 – information line for the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (00 372 669 6630 if you call from the UK)

Most emergency services and doctors speak English, but there is no guarantee. If possible, have a local person assist you with your call. 

 

Health services and costs

Your EHIC does not cover private treatment. Ensure you are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). You can download a list of contractual partners from the EHIF website (information provided in English)

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.

TipContact EHIF for more advice before you travel. Call 00 372 669 663 from the UK or dial 16363 within Estonia. The EHIF website offers information in English.

 

TipRemember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by you or your insurance company to apply for any refund or reimbursement.

 

Doctors

Visiting a family practitioner (GP) is free of charge. You'll need a referral from a GP to visit a medical specialist. No referral is needed to visit a psychiatrist, gynaecologist, dermatovenerologist, ophthalmologist, dentist, pulmonologist (for tuberculosis treatment), infection specialist (for HIV/AIDS treatment), surgeon or orthopaedist (for traumatology).

You will have to pay part of the cost of any medical treatment you receive, including home visits from a family practitioner. The fee will be up to €5, but this may vary. This is non-refundable.

Dentists

You will have to pay for any medical treatment you receive from a dentist. This is non-refundable.

If a tooth needs to be removed or an abscess needs to be lanced, in emergency cases this is free of charge.

Dental treatment is also free of charge for children under the age of 19.

Hospital treatment

If you are admitted as an inpatient, you will have to pay a fee of up to €2.50 per day for up to 10 days per hospitalisation. This is non-refundable. There is no inpatient fee for:

  • children below the age of 18
  • healthcare related to pregnancy and childbirth
  • intensive care

Visit the EHIF website for more information about specialised medical care

Prescriptions

You will be charged a standard fee. Sometimes you will also have to pay a percentage of the costs above the standard fee. For detailed information about prescription medicines, including discount rates, visit the EHIF website.  

If the medicine you have been prescribed is not on the national list of medicinal products, you will have to pay the full costs. This is not refundable.

TipIn Estonia some medicines that are available over the counter in the UK, such as Aspirin and various ointments, are only available in pharmacies.

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

Although your EHIC covers the provision of oxygen, renal dialysis and routine medical care, you'll normally have to arrange and pre-book oxygen and dialysis treatment before you leave the UK. However, this is not possible in Estonia because visitors need to see a doctor in Estonia first. You should also always consult your GP or hospital before travelling. Ensure you are not booked with a private healthcare provider as these are not covered by the 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. Since July 1 2014, you can also 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 go abroad.  

Making arrangements in Estonia

You can make arrangements in Estonia by contacting the hospitals and clinics listed below. However, you'll still need to see a GP in Estonia first.

Tallinn

Tartu

Industrial Gases Estonia (AGA)

The AGA deals with oxygen equipment rent and sales in Estonia. You can contact the AGA via email aga@aga.ee or find out more about the provision of medicinal gasses on their website (information provided in English).   

Making arrangements via oxygen suppliers in the UK

Your home oxygen supplier is not required to provide a service outside the UK, however, most suppliers will be able to advise 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 how to make travel arrangements, including advice on travelling abroad with a lung condition.

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

Dialysis

You should speak to the co-ordinator in your UK Dialysis Unit, who will contact the dialysis unit in Estonia nearest to where you will be staying. Some Estonian renal units are listed below. Alternatively, the Renal Association also offers a way to look up UK renal units.

Hospitals with renal units in Estonia

Narva

Tartu

Kohtla-Jarve

Kuressare

Tallinn

Pärnu

Rapla

TipEnsure you make your arrangements according to your UK schedule. There also may be different guidance depending on what type of dialysis you receive. Make sure you speak to your doctor before you travel. In addition, visit the National Kidney Federation website, which 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 Estonia

Everyone who is eligible for health insurance in Estonia is registered with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). This is the only organisation in Estonia that deals with compulsory health insurance. Find more detailed information on the EHIF website.

To access healthcare services, you should show your ID card to the healthcare provider. Insurance is checked on the basis of the ID code. If you are not insured with EHIF and you are not registered on the basis of the S1 (formerly E106, E109, E121) or A1, you should show your EHIC or portable document S2 or DA1.

If you are a worker seconded to Estonia or the family member of someone making UK National Insurance contributions, your employer should contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for the following forms:

  • A1 – this will show that National Insurance contributions are paid in the UK
  • S1 (previously E106 or E109) – this will give you and your family the same medical cover as residents of Estonia

Note: Ensure when you submit the forms that you mention relevant family members and dependants.

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.

Once issued, register the S1 form with the EHIF before you register with your local GP surgery.

Visit the Welcome to Estonia website which offers advice for people wanting to work or study in Estonia. Alternatively GOV.UK offers a guide for British nationals living in Estonia.

Pensioners

If you are living in Estonia and you receive a UK State Pension, or any other benefit that can be paid to you when you move abroad (exportable benefit), you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You'll need to apply for form S1 (a certificate of entitlement) from the International Pension Centre on 0191 218 7777. Once issued, register the S1 form with the EHIF before you register with your local GP surgery.

Once you have registered your S1 in Estonia, 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 outside Estonia, including when you return to the UK.

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.

How to claim refunds

Since July 1 2014, you can no longer be reimbursed for co-payments once you go back to the UK. Read about the rule changes.

Also the EHIF does not refund medicinal costs for other member state insured people who have been treated during a temporary stay in Estonia.

For further advice, contact the Overseas Healthcare Team at the Department of Work and Pensions:

Overseas Healthcare Team
Room MO601, Durham House
Washington
Tyne & Wear
NE38 7SF
Telephone 0191 218 1999 Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm. 

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by your private insurance company to apply for any refund or reimbursement.

Comments

Page last reviewed: 15/07/2015

Next review due: 15/07/2017

EHIC changes

You will no longer be able to claim a refund in the UK for most patient co-payments for treatment received after July 1 2014

Healthy holidays

How to keep your family healthy during the summer holidays. Includes beach safety, camping safety and free activities

Want to have treatment abroad?

Find out what your options are if you wish to have NHS-funded treatment abroad, and how to go about it

Travel health videos

Watch our travel health videos and get ready for your next holiday, including tips on beach safety and how to apply sunscreen