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Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in Latvia

You will be treated on the same basis as a resident of Latvia. 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.

 

Where to get information while in Latvia

Contact the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lativa for information.

Ministry of Health
Brīvības street 72,
Riga LV-1011, Latvia
 
Phone number: 00371 67876010
E-mail: vm@vm.gov.lv
 

Also see the section Healthcare in Latvia, which is available in English.

Emergency numbers

In case you find yourself in an emergency during your stay in Latvia, dial 112. You might want to save the number in your phone.

 

Treatment, coverage and costs

Doctors

You will be charged a standard fee for seeing a doctor. Children under 18 and pregnant women receiving treatment relating to their pregnancy will not be charged. Patient fees are due as follows:

  • Outpatient examinations from a doctor Ls 0.50 
  • Specialist Ls 2.00 

If you need to see a specialist, you will need a referral form a doctor. This is non-refundable in Latvia but you may be able to seek reimbursement when you are back in the UK.

Dentists

Dental treatment is not covered, except for children up to 18 years old where there is no charge.

Hospital treatment

Diagnostic examinations as an outpatient are charged between Ls 0.50 and Ls 9.00.

The fee for inpatient treatment with a referral from a doctor is Ls 5.00 per day but not exceeding Ls 80.00 in total per case or more than Ls 150.00 per year. Inpatient treatment in day centres is Ls 0.50 per day. Additional charges apply for diagnostic examinations. This is non-refundable in Latvia but you may be able to seek reimbursement when you are back in the UK.

No patient fees are due for emergency or intensive care, for children under 18, in cases related to pregnancy and childbirth or for dialysis.

Prescriptions

The cost of medicines is partly covered where they are prescribed by a doctor. This is non-refundable in Latvia but you may be able to seek reimbursement when you are back in the UK.

Ambulance

There will be no charge where an ambulance is requested by the national immediate medical treatment service. Other transport expenses are not covered.

Air ambulance

There is no charge payable.

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 doctor. 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.

Dialysis

You need to speak to the co-ordinator in your UK Dialysis Unit who will contact the dialysis unit in Latvia nearest to where you will be staying. However, the provision of dialysis will be subject to availability in Latvia. There is no charge for dialysis for chronic patients.

Leisure or business - using your EHIC in Latvia

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

Latvia does not operate a refund system. You should only be charged the amount of your own contribution. If the healthcare provider does not have a contract with the VOAVA or you cannot provide your EHIC, you will be charged as a private patient. These charges will not be refundable.

If you have had to pay for the cost of your care and have been unable to claim a refund during your stay in Latvia, 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 considerably longer than claiming for a refund in Latvia.

Living in Latvia

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 Latvia.

However, if you move to Latvia 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 the VOAVA (State Agency for Compulsory Health Insurance). 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

You can find a list of doctors on the VOAVA website.

Working in Latvia

This section applies if you have been issued with an E106

How to register your E106

You will need to contact the VOAVA (State Agency for Compulsory Health Insurance). 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

You can find a list of doctors on the VOAVA website.

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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