Healthcare in Estonia

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you'd 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 Estonia

Finding help in an emergency

If you find yourself in a serious or life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance, dial 112. Ambulance transport is free of charge in an emergency.

Other important phone numbers to note down:

  • 112 – emergencies including police and fire brigade
  • 1220 – if you need medical advice, call the family practitioners information line (00 372 630 4107 if you call from the UK)
  • 16363 – information line for the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) (00 372 669 6630 if you call from the UK)

Most emergency services and doctors speak English, but there is no guarantee. If possible, have a local person assist you with your call.

Healthcare up to 29 March 2019

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without a European Health Insurance Card (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 enables you to access the necessary state-provided healthcare in Estonia 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 health system.

EHIC does not cover certain costs, including:

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

It's important that you ensure you're treated by a healthcare provider in the state system as you won't be covered for private healthcare. Ensure you are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with the EHIF.

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.

People with pre-existing health conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Estonia. 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 29 March 2019 but may not work after that date.

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.

Dentists

You will have to pay for any medical treatment you receive from a dentist. This is non-refundable.

If a tooth needs to be removed or an abscess needs to be lanced, in emergency cases this is free of charge.

Dental treatment is also free of charge for children under the age of 19.

About dentists in Estonia

Hospitals

If you are admitted as an inpatient, you will have to pay a fee of up to €2.50 per day for up to 10 days of hospitalisation. This is non-refundable.

There is no inpatient fee for:

  • children below the age of 18
  • healthcare related to pregnancy and childbirth
  • intensive care

Visit the EHIF website for more information about specialised medical care.

Prescriptions

You will be charged a standard fee. Sometimes you will also have to pay a percentage of the costs above the standard fee. You will pay a minimum of €2.50. For detailed information about prescription medicines, including discount rates, visit the EHIF website.

If the medicine you have been prescribed is not on the national list of medicinal products, you will have to pay the full costs. This is not refundable.

In Estonia some medicines that are available over the counter in the UK, such as Aspirin and various ointments, are only available in pharmacies.

Bringing your own medicines to Estonia

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 on travelling with controlled medicines.

After 29 March 2019

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting Estonia is likely to change.

If you are planning to visit Estonia on or after 29 March 2019, 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 using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until 29 March 2019.

The UK Government is seeking agreements with countries, including Estonia, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after 29 March.

Working in Estonia

Healthcare up to 29 March 2019

If you are a permanent or temporary resident in Estonia and registered with the EHIF, you are entitled to the same healthcare as Estonian nationals.

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Estonia, 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 3500
  • Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010

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

For more information, read the Moving abroad section of this website.

After 29 March 2019

If you are a permanent or temporary resident in Estonia and registered with the EHIF, you may continue to be entitled to the same healthcare as Estonian nationals.

If you do not have a temporary or long-term residence permit, you are likely to need to apply for one. Temporary residence permits can be issued for up to 5 years and can be extended for up to 10 years. Once you have lived in Estonia for 5 years with a temporary residence permit, you may be able to apply for a long-term residence permit.

You would also need to register with the EHIF to be entitled to the same healthcare as Estonian nationals. It is recommended that you take out private healthcare insurance until you are covered by the state system.

If you are a UK posted worker, you may also need to be registered with the EHIF to continue to receive the healthcare you need on the same terms as an Estonian national. Alternatively, you may need private healthcare insurance.

Pensioners in Estonia

Healthcare up to 29 March 2019

If you live in Estonia and receive an exportable UK State 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.

Further information on pensions in Estonia can be found from the website of the Social Insurance Board.

S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in the Estonia. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until 29 March 2019.

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 29 March.

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 at 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 29 March 2019

If you are resident in Estonia and registered with the EHIF, you may continue to be entitled to the same healthcare as Estonian nationals.

If you do not have residency, you may need to apply. Temporary residence permits can be issued for up to 5 years and can be extended for up to 10 years. Once you have lived in Estonia for 5 years with a temporary residence permit, you may be able to apply for a long-term residence permit.

You would also need to register with the EHIF to be entitled to the same healthcare as Estonian nationals. It is recommended that you take out private healthcare insurance until you are covered by the state system.

Students in Estonia

Until 29 March 2019, if you are going to study or are currently studying in Estonia as part of a UK-recognised course, you may be entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK government. You and any dependants will need an EHIC. It is recommended that you continue to buy healthcare insurance in addition to your EHIC.

After 29 March 2019, you are likely to require a long-term visa for studying. You should apply at the Estonian Embassy in London or at the Police and Border Guard Board in Estonia. Once you have residence, you can register with the EHIF to obtain the same healthcare as Estonian nationals. You may also wish to take out private healthcare cover.

Page last reviewed: 28/01/2019
Next review due: 28/01/2022