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Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in the Czech Republic

During a visit to the Czech Republic, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will enable you to access necessary state-provided healthcare on the same basis as a resident of the country. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.

It is important that you ensure that you are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with any of the Czech public healthcare insurance funds (HIFs) as you will not be covered for private (non-contracted) healthcare. You should be particularly careful if the healthcare arrangements have been made by a hotel or travel representative.

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.

If you travel to the Czech Republic with the specific purpose of obtaining medical treatment, you must have applied for funding with NHS England in advance otherwise you may have to pay the full costs of your treatment. Check out the Seeking medical treatment in Europe section for more advice about treatment abroad.

Find help in emergencies

In an emergency in the Czech Republic, dial 112. You will be able to use English and, if needed, an ambulance can be sent. You might want to save the number in your phone.

You can also call ambulance and recue services on 155, but usually only Czech will be spoken.

Other emergency numbers:

  • 150 – fire brigade
  • 156 – municipal police
  • 158 – police

For less urgent health matters, the 'Centrum mezistatnich uhrad' (Centre for international reimbursements) will be able to provide information.

Centrum mezistatnich uhrad (CMU)
Nam. W. Churchilla 2
11359 Prague 3

Telephone: 0042 0236 03 3411
E-mail: info@cmu.cz
Website: www.cmu.cz

You will be able to obtain a list of local health professionals that are registered with the HIF.

 

Health services and costs

Make sure you are treated by a state-funded healthcare provider (registered with the CMU). 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.

You are covered with your EHIC in the Czech Republic, however there is a standard fee of 30CZ koruna (CZK) to be paid by all patients per consultation, including dentist and hospital outpatient consultations.

If you move to the Czech Republic long term or plan to work in the country you’ll have to register with one of the public health insurance funds. Your insurance company will issue you a card, which you have to take with you whenever you visit a doctor, dentist or specialist. You can download a list of health insurance funds from the CMU website.

Doctors (Doktori)

Consult a doctor who is registered with an HIF. You will be charged a small patient contribution. If the doctor does not have a contract with any HIF, you are effectively a private patient and will have to pay the full treatments costs, which are not refundable.

You will generally be charged 30 CZ koruna (CZK) per consultation, including for example, with a GP, foot specialist or gynaecologist. There is also a 30CZK charge for prescriptions for medicines, laboratory tests or other examinations - the single charge covers all items prescribed. You should be issued with an appropriate number of copies of a ‘Potvrzeni o naroku’ (certificate of entitlement). You will have to present the certificates to the provider of your treatment or medication. These charges are non-refundable.

Dentists (Zubari)

Basic dental care is covered by the health insurance system. However, charges are made for some dental treatment (covering such things as costs of materials used or above-standard treatment). You will be charged 30CZK for a clinical examination and 90CZK for any emergency treatment. These charges are non-refundable. 

Hospitals (Nemocnice)

A list of contracted hospitals is available online from the CMU. You will need a referral from a doctor for specialist care if it is not an emergency. Outpatient treatment will incur a charge of 30CZK. This can include stays in health resorts or spas if these are part of your treatment.

A 90CZK charge is made for emergency hospital treatment provided at weekends, during holidays or between 5pm and 7am on working days, unless you are subsequently admitted. These charges are non-refundable.  

Prescriptions (Recept)

The charge for prescribed medicines varies. However, a standard charge of 30CZK is made for any item which is fully or partly covered by the HIF. The charge is fixed irrespective of the number of items included on the prescription. This is non-refundable.

Pharmacies are called Lekarny in Czech. In most pharmacies, lines are divided into 'bez receptu' and 'na recept'. If you have a prescription, queue in 'na recept'. Doctors' prescriptions should be taken to a pharmacy within one week of being issued, otherwise they become invalid. Prescriptions from emergency services are valid for one day only; prescriptions for antibiotics must be picked up within three days.

Ambulance

Use of an ambulance is free where it is deemed necessary.

Air ambulance

Use of an air ambulance is free where it is deemed necessary.

How to claim refunds

Generally, if you use your EHIC to obtain state healthcare in the Czech Republic, you should not be charged anything other than the standard patient contribution fees.

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

The most common treatments or conditions that require advance 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 advise 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

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:

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 the Czech Republic nearest to where you will be staying. The Renal Association offers a way to look up UK renal units.

Ensure 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 and/or working in the Czech Republic

Permanent residents and employees

Permanent residents of the Czech Republic and those employed by companies with registered offices in the Czech Republic are required to make mandatory contributions to one of the Czech public health insurance funds.

There are seven public health insurance funds and all of them provide the same extent of healthcare cover: 

All Czech citizens, registered foreign residents and companies with a base in the country must make regular contributions. Students under 26, dependent children, pensioners and some vulnerable groups are exempt from payment. Some employers are obliged to pay the fees on behalf of their employees.

If you are a worker seconded to the Czech Republic 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 (previously E101) – this will show that tax and NI contributions are paid in the UK
  • S1 (previously E106 or E109) – this will give you and your family the same medical cover as  Czech residents

HMRC
Charity, Assets and Residence
Room BP1301
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

For more information, visit the Moving abroad section.

Once issued, register the S1 form with an HIF before you register with a local GP surgery.

Studying in the Czech Republic

If you are moving to study or are currently studying in the Czech Republic as part of a UK-recognised course, you may be entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK government.
Also read:

Pensioners

If you are living in the Czech Republic and you receive a UK State Pension or long-term Incapacity 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, present the S1 form to any HIF before you register with a local GP surgery and obtain a medical card.

    Once you have registered your S1 in the Czech Republic, 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 the Czech Republic, 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 Living and working in the Czech Republic.

     

    Page last reviewed: 14/04/2014

    Next review due: 14/04/2016

    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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