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Healthcare in Slovenia

On this page you'll find information on the healthcare access you're entitled to and how to get it whether you're:

  • moving to, or already living in, Slovenia (including as a student)
  • visiting Slovenia, for example on holiday

Your options for accessing healthcare in Slovenia may change if there's a no-deal Brexit. You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances if you're moving to, visiting or living in Slovenia.

Living in Slovenia after Brexit

You should be ready for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there's a no-deal Brexit and you're a UK national living in Slovenia.

You should review your access to healthcare now. There may be a gap or permanent change in how you access healthcare if there's no deal and no agreements with Slovenia in place.

For example, if you're a current S1 form holder, or a posted worker or student using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you will not be able to use these to access your healthcare as you do now.

You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances and consider:

  • registering to live in Slovenia
  • registering for healthcare under the local rules and legislation of Slovenia. If you're paying national insurance contributions to Slovenia, you'll continue to be able to access free or discounted healthcare
  • buying comprehensive health insurance while you're applying for residency or if you're not eligible for local schemes. If you're a UK posted worker, you may need to buy additional healthcare insurance in Slovenia so you can receive the healthcare treatment you need

Make sure you have all the right documentation and it's up to date.

If you're living in Slovenia and are not currently eligible for a UK-issued S1 form or EHIC, you should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK. You should take out appropriate travel insurance when visiting the UK, as you would when visiting any other country.

You may use NHS services in England, Scotland and Wales without charge, when visiting the UK after exit day if you're living in Slovenia before exit day and you:

  • have a UK-issued S1 form
  • have a UK-issued EHIC
  • would have been eligible for the UK to fund your healthcare access, if exit day had not occurred

This will remain the case after exit day.

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinary residence test you'll be able to access NHS care without charge.

Visiting Slovenia after Brexit

You should prepare for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there's a no-deal Brexit and you're a UK national travelling to Slovenia.

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

Your EHIC may not be valid if there's a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Slovenia and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare cover to ensure you can get any treatment you might need. If you have any pre-existing conditions, talk with your GP and insurer about how to get the right cover, and how this affects your travel.

This guide will be updated when there is more information on travelling to and living in Slovenia after Brexit.

Healthcare in Slovenia until the UK leaves the EU

Finding help in an emergency

Call 112 if you have a serious, life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance. Calls are free of charge.

Ambulance transportation is free in the event of an emergency or if a doctor has confirmed that it's needed. In all other cases, an individual must pay 90% of the costs of the ambulance transport.

Visiting Slovenia

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you're planning to visit Slovenia. The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas. Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

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.

With an EHIC all emergency treatments are free under the Slovenian state health service. This includes admission to hospital and any surgery needed.

Your EHIC enables you to access necessary state-provided healthcare in Slovenia at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free if you're staying there temporarily.

In non-emergency situations, you'll be expected to contribute to the cost of your treatment. You will also be expected to pay for prescription medicines and any dental treatment.

Check that you are being treated by a healthcare provider in the state system as you will not be covered for private healthcare with an EHIC.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork.

Pre-existing health conditions

You should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Slovenia if you have a pre-existing health condition. You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, so that you can get the cover you need.

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

Your EHIC will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Your EHIC may not be valid if there's a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Slovenia and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

If you're travelling to have planned medical treatment, read our guide about going abroad for medical treatment.

Dentists

Non-emergency dental treatment is not covered by the EHIC card and you'll be expected to make a payment.

Hospitals

You'll need to be referred by a doctor for any hospital treatment.

Make sure you're referred to a state hospital as only these provide treatment free of charge. Even in a state hospital you'll need a valid EHIC. Double-check you're not treated as a private patient.

Prescriptions

The HIIS (single insurer in Slovenia) maintains a list of "positive" and "negative" medications. Positive list medication prescribed is subsidised at 70%, while medication prescribed from the negative list must be paid in full by you.

Bringing your own medicines to Slovenia

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

You may need a personal license to take controlled medicines abroad.

Specific requirements also apply to:

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

GOV.UK has more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

Living in Slovenia

The Slovenian health system is based on statutory health insurance, which is regulated by national legislation and administered by the government-administered single insurer Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (HIIS). This is known as Zavod za zdravstveno zavarovanje Slovenije (ZZZS) in Slovenian.

Contributions are compulsory for all residents of Slovenia.

Anyone who is not insured with the Slovenia health service will need to secure private health insurance. People without insurance cannot access non-emergency free state healthcare. Those who do not have health insurance and require basic health care can contact an outpatient clinic for people without health insurance (information in Slovenian).

State primary health care is provided by a mix of state and private providers with concessions. State providers include health care centres and health stations, institutions established and owned by local communities.

Patients can choose the primary care provider among those who have a contract with the HIIS and have the right to change them after a year. The personal physician plays the role of the gatekeeper since a referral is necessary to proceed to specialist and hospital care. The referral is not required in the cases of chronic diseases or long-term treatment.

Private providers are individual healthcare professionals working individually or in group practices offering combinations of services and specialties. Patients can select a private physician of their choice but must cover all costs out-of-pocket.

S1 certificate

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Slovenia and receive:

  • an exportable UK State Pension
  • a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance
  • another exportable benefit

You'll need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

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

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

  • receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension
  • are employed by a UK body or firm (you're a posted or frontier worker)
  • are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

If you receive a UK State Pension, you can apply for your certificate via the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (option 5).

Your S1 certificate may not be valid if there's a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Slovenia and may mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

It's possible to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU. It's important to have all the right documentation and that it's up to date.

For other exportable benefits, you may need to contact a different team depending on the exportable benefit. You can find more information about claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on GOV.UK. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

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

Working in Slovenia

Nationals from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland residing in Slovenia for 3 months or more must register with the local Administrative Unit. This requires submission of an application form to obtain a residence registration certificate, before the 3-month stay expires.

Nationals from these countries may request a residence registration certificate immediately after entering the country.

Residence registration certificates are issued for work, self-employment, provision of services, study and family reunification. They can be renewed after 5 years, or an application for permanent residence can be made to the Administrative Unit.

UK posted workers

If you're a worker posted by a UK company to Slovenia, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you're posted to.

You can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs:

Students in Slovenia

If you're a UK resident and studying in Slovenia, your EHIC will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Your EHIC may not be valid after exit day if there's a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Slovenia and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive insurance when going overseas. Your EHIC is not an alternative to insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Read more about healthcare when studying abroad and planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

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