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Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in Romania

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 contribution to the cost of your care.

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

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.

Non-EEA nationals are not covered by the EHIC in Romania.

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

Find help in emergencies

In the event of an emergency in Romania you can call 112 (or 114 hearing assisted). This call is free of charge from any landline or mobile phone.

The Romanian word for hospital is 'spital' and the paramedic services are known by the acronym SMURD (Serviciul Mobil de Urgenţǎ, Reanimare şi Descarcerare) – the  Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication. This is a free service that deals with all emergencies and can be reached by dialling 112. Find out more about the 112 service in Romania.

Health services and costs

Your EHIC does not cover private treatment, so make sure you are treated by a state healthcare provider. 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.

There are co-payments for some of the ambulatory procedures such as laboratory tests, imaging and for the pharmaceuticals. Dental treatment, medical devices and rehabilitation require co-payments too. You may be entitled to reimbursement from the National Health Insurance Agency – Casa Nationala de Asiguarari de Sanatate (CNAS)

Remember 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.

If you spend more than three month in Romania, ensure you are registered with the local authorities and that you have proof of private health insurance. For more details see the section Living in Romania.

Hospital treatment

Like in the UK you need a GP or specialist referral to be admitted in hospital in non-emergency situations.

Hospitals in the larger cities are equipped with basic medical and emergency necessities, however, rural areas and smaller towns often have limited or no medical supplies. The quality of care in government hospitals may not be to the same level you’re used to in the UK. Often patients’ families have to help their in-patient relatives with basic necessities and assistance.

Dentists

To utilise your European Health Insurance Card, you must consult a dentist who has a contract with the Romanian public health insurance scheme.

Dental exams are free of charge for persons 18 and under. For persons over 18, emergency treatment is free of charge and 60% of the costs are reimbursed for treatments included in the medical services package.

Prescriptions

You will be charged the difference between the medicine's reference price (which is covered by the public insurance scheme) and its actual sales price. This is non-refundable in Romania. 

Ambulance

Emergency services are provided free of charge by county ambulance services, the Bucharest ambulance service and the emergency rescue service SMURD (Serviciul Mobil de Urgenţǎ, Reanimare şi Descarcerare).

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. You should also 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 will 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 can 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:

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

Dialysis

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

Ensure you make arrangements according to your UK schedule. There may also be different guidance, depending on the 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.

The NHS Choices website has advice on travelling with various conditions. These include:

Living in Romania

If you move to Romania long-term or plan to work in the country for more than three months, you will have to register with the General Inspectorate for Immigration. Visit the General Inspectorate for Immigration website for more information regarding establishing residency in Romania.

For visa purposes, you will be required to have private medical insurance. It is strongly advised that this medical insurance is comprehensive and makes allowances for the use of private medical facilities. Expats who have health insurance have the option of using either private or public healthcare in Romania.

Working in Romania

If you are a worker seconded to Romania 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 tax and NI contributions are paid in the UK
  • S1 – this will give you and your family the same medical cover as Romanian residents

HM Revenue & Customs
NIC&EO
International Caseworker
Room BP1301
Benton Park View
Longbenton
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ
United Kingdom

For more information, visit the Moving abroad section.

Pensioners

If you are living in Romania 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, which can be reached on 0191 218 7777. Once issued, register the S1 form with the General Inspectorate for Immigration before you register with your local GP surgery. 

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

Early retirees

From July 1 2014 you are no longer able to apply for 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. Find out more about the new rules.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides useful information about what UK and Romanian benefits are available to Britons living in Romania.

Page last reviewed: 11/06/2014

Next review due: 11/06/2016

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

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Media last reviewed: 13/06/2014

Next review due: 13/06/2016