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Healthcare in Cyprus

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.

Visitors to Cyprus

Finding help in an emergency

If you find yourself in a serious or life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance, the police or the fire brigade, dial 112. Calls are free of charge from any phone, including mobile phones. Operators in Cyprus speak English. If you do not know your location, they are able to geo-locate you.

Other important numbers to note down:

  • 1441 – air/sea rescue
  • 1401 – drugs, narcotics and poison emergencies
  • 1400 – hospital information
  • 90 90 1432 – on-call doctors

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an EHIC. You should always buy enough travel insurance and make sure you have access to funding to cover any medical treatment abroad. 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.

Currently, your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) enables you to access the necessary state-provided healthcare in Cyprus at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, if you are staying there temporarily. If you are asked to pay for health services upfront, it is likely that you are not being treated under the state system.

EHIC does not cover certain costs, including:

  • private treatment
  • being brought back to the UK
  • mountain rescue services
  • cruises

Be careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. They might reassure visitors that they can claim back whatever is paid out, but they are referring to private insurance and the treatment given under the EHIC. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are non-refundable.

Provisional replacement certificate (PRC)

A PRC is a certificate demonstrating a person's entitlement to EHIC. If you need healthcare but do not have your EHIC with you, you can call Overseas Healthcare Services and ask them to send a PRC to show to the hospital. This will avoid you being directly charged.

Contact Overseas Healthcare Services:

UK: 0191 218 1999
Outside UK: +44 191 218 1999
(Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, UK time)

People with pre-existing health conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Cyprus. You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, to make sure you can get the cover you need. If you have an EHIC, this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU but may not work after that.

If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel. Make sure you take with you any documents about your health condition or medication.

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

Hospitals

Just like in the UK, you'll need to be referred by a doctor for any non-emergency hospital treatment.

When you're admitted to hospital, you'll need to present a valid EHIC to receive treatment at the same cost as a resident.

The Ministry of Health provides a list of state hospitals, including phone numbers.

Prescriptions

If you don't have a Cypriot medical card or alternative means of cover you will be charged the full cost of a prescription.

Typically, pharmacies in Cyprus open from 9am until noon, close for a few hours and reopen from 3pm to 6pm or 7pm. Some may not open at all in the middle of the week.

View the list of 24-hour pharmacies according to region:

  • Ammochostos – telephone 90 90 1413
  • Larnaca – telephone 90 90 1414
  • Limassol – telephone 90 90 1415
  • Nicosia – telephone 90 90 1412
  • Paphos – telephone 90 90 1416

Bringing your own medicines to Cyprus

Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK. This means that extra legal controls apply to these medicines.

You may need a personal licence to take controlled medicines abroad. Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information that you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

You can visit the GOV.UK website for more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

After the UK leaves the EU

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting Cyprus is likely to change. If you are planning to visit Cyprus after the UK leaves the EU, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

If you are currently using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

The UK government is seeking agreements with countries, including Cyprus, on healthcare arrangements after the UK leaves the EU.

This guide will be updated with further information on travelling to Cyprus as the circumstances change.

Working in Cyprus

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

If you move to Cyprus to work, you are required to apply for a residence permit through the local immigration office of the Ministry of Interior Republic of Cyprus using form MEU1A.

Once registered, and if eligible, you can apply for your Cypriot Medical card. The application form and information about the criteria can be found on the Cypriot Ministry of Health Website (PDF, 568kb).

Since 2013, small charges have been introduced for treatment for the majority of Cypriot citizens and permanent residents. Charges include €3 for a visit to a general practitioner, €6 for a visit to a specialist, and €0.50 for each prescribed medication.

For those who do not hold a medical card, some charges will be higher: €15 for a visit to a general practitioner and €30 for a visit to a specialist. There is also a fee of €10 for emergency treatment in an accident and emergency unit. For more details about the changes, visit the Cypriot Ministry of Health website.

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Cyprus, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in Cyprus. 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 3500
Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010

Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday – closed weekends and bank holidays

For more information, see Planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

After the UK leaves the EU

If eligible for temporary or permanent residence in Cyprus, you must contribute to social insurance and have a medical card or take out private healthcare insurance to be entitled to the same healthcare as Cypriot nationals.

People who have continuously lived in Cyprus for more than 5 years may be able to apply for permanent residency. This application incurs a charge of €30 and takes roughly 6 months for completion.

If you do not qualify for social insurance you can choose from a number of alternative private insurance schemes. Cyprus is changing its health system. Read about the General Healthcare System (GHS) which operates in Cyprus.

It is not a requirement for you to have healthcare insurance if you reside in Cyprus, however if you don't have insurance you will be charged for services you receive.

Pensioners in Cyprus

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

If you live in Cyprus and 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 certificate.

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.

S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Cyprus. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states.

You should continue to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:

  • have worked and paid contributions in the UK
  • receive some UK benefits such as pensions

Apply through the Business Services Authority for an S1 certificate.

For exportable UK pensions and contribution-based Employment Support Allowance, you can apply for your certificate via the International Pension Centre in the Department for Work and Pensions on 0191 218 7777.

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.

After the UK leaves the EU

You can apply for a temporary residence permit if you can provide proof that you have sufficient financial resources to sustain yourself. People who have continuously lived in Cyprus for more than 5 years may be able to apply for permanent residency. This application incurs a charge of €30 and takes roughly 6 months for completion.

To be entitled to the same healthcare as Cypriot nationals, you must contribute to social insurance and have a medical card. If you do not qualify for social insurance you can choose from a number of alternative private insurance schemes.

It is not a requirement for you to have healthcare insurance if you reside in Cyprus, however if you don't have insurance you will be charged for services you receive.

Students in Cyprus

If you are a UK resident and studying in Cyprus, and you have an EHIC, this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU. It is recommended that you continue to buy healthcare insurance in addition to your EHIC.

After UK leaves the EU, you should also continue to buy insurance to cover your healthcare, as you would if you were visiting a non-EU country.

Page last reviewed: 28 January 2019
Next review due: 28 January 2022