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Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in Slovenia

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge on 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 enable you to access state-provided healthcare at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return.

Your EHIC also covers you for the treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, providing the reason for your visit isn't 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 on seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Anyone who visits Slovenia or moves to the country has to register with the local police within three days. Failure to do so will result in a fine. Most hotels and guest houses will do this as part of your check-in. However, if you are self-catering or staying with friends, then you need to register in person.

Find help in an emergency

If you find yourself in a serious, life-threatening emergency or need an ambulance, dial 112. This is free of charge from any fixed or mobile phone.  It is important that you stay calm and provide the following details when calling emergency services in Slovenia:

  • Who you are
  • How many people are injured
  • What happened
  • What are the injuries
  • Where it happened 
  • What are the circumstances at the scene of the accident
  • When did it happen
  • What kind of assistance is needed

Find more information about how emergency calls are handled in Slovenia.

In Slovenia, ambulance transportation is only free of charge in case of emergencies or if a doctor has confirmed that you are really in need of an ambulance service. In all other cases, you’ll have to pay 90% of the costs of the ambulance transport.

Other important numbers to note down:

  • 113  police
  • 80 1900 Tourist telephone  free line open 24 hours a day for tourists and tourism workers to report their comments, complaints, criticism and suggestions

 

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 Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia: Zavod za zdravstveno zavarovanje Slovenije (ZZZS).

There is no patient contribution for emergency care services, as they are fully covered by compulsory health insurance, and are free of charge, but you need to present a valid EHIC.

Other health care services are only partly covered by compulsory health insurance. Patients will have to make an additional payment to cover the balance of the full costs of medical care, regardless of the EHIC. You can find more details about patient charges on the ZZZS website (information available in English).

If you do not have an EHIC, you must cover all healthcare costs, even if you visit an ZZZS-contracted healthcare provider. 

More information is available from the ZZZS website. Here you can find general information on how to access healthcare, as well as contact details of ZZZS’s local offices that cover all Slovenian regions. You can also find a list of healthcare providers (only available in Slovene), both ZZZS-contracted and private. 

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.

If you move to Slovenia long term, or plan to work in the country, you'll only have access to public healthcare if you are employed and paying into the healthcare insurance fund, if you are a dependant of an employed person, or if you belong to a vulnerable group. Even then, you usually have to pay a patient contribution towards the cost of your treatment. Once you are registered for compulsory health insurance, you are issued a Slovene health insurance card (HIC), Kartica zdravstvenega zavarovanja, which you have to present every time you access a health service.

Find out about the Slovene HIC.

Hospital treatment

Just like in the UK, you'll need a doctor's referral for non-emergency hospital treatment. This will usually be at a hospital near to where you live. Hospital treatment is free of charge in a public hospital if you are referred by a ZZZS-contracted doctor or by the hospital. Bear in mind that you need to show your EHIC or Slovene HIC on admission.

Prescriptions

The word for pharmacy in Slovene is "lekarna". You can go to any pharmacy in Slovenia. Medicine charges may vary, depending on your prescription. This is non-refundable. Most large towns have duty pharmacies that provide a 24-hour service.

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. Also ensure that 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.

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 travelling abroad with a lung condition.

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

Dialysis

You will need to speak to the co-ordinator in your UK Dialysis Unit, who will contact the dialysis unit in Slovenia 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 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 on travelling with other conditions:

Living in Slovenia

If you move to Slovenia long term or plan to work in the country, you'll have to register with the Slovene authorities. For example, anyone who visits Slovenia or moves to Slovenia has to register with the local police within three days. Failure to do so will result in a fine. Visit the official Information for Foreigners website for advice on immigration and how to register as a resident.

You’ll also have to register with The Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia – Zavod za zdravstveno zavarovanje Slovenjie (ZZZS) – to access public healthcare on the same basis as a Slovene resident. Once registered, you’ll be issued a Slovenian health insurance card (HIC) – Kartica zdravstvenega zavarovanja.

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Slovenia, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you are posted to. 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 see the Moving abroad section.

Pensioners

If you are living in Slovenia 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 in 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 Slovenia. Often you need to do this before you can register for healthcare or obtain a medical card.

Once you have registered your S1 in Slovenia, 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 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. For more information visit the Moving abroad section.

Page last reviewed: 23/01/2015

Next review due: 23/01/2017