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Healthcare in the Czech Republic

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 the Czech Republic

Finding help in an emergency

In an emergency in the Czech Republic, dial 112. You'll 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 rescue 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 Kancelar zdravotniho pojisteni (Health Insurance Bureau) will be able to provide information.

Kancelar zdravotniho pojisteni (HIB)
Nam. W. Churchilla 2
130 00 Prague 3

Telephone: 00420 236 033 411
Email: info@kancelarzp.cz
Website: www.kancelarzp.cz

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 the Czech Republic 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

It's important that you ensure you're treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with any of the Czech state healthcare insurance funds (HIFs) as you won't be covered for private (non-contracted) healthcare.

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.

Use of an ambulance or air ambulance is free where this is deemed necessary.

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 the Czech Republic. 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.

Dentists

Your EHIC covers you for necessary dental services when visiting the Czech Republic, but there's a standard fee of 90CZK for emergency dental services. This charge is non-refundable.

Hospitals

Just like in the UK, your doctor's referrals are required for non-emergency hospital treatment. Make sure you are treated by a hospital contracted to any of the Czech HIFs. When you're admitted to hospital, you'll need to present a valid EHIC and your UK passport to receive treatment at the same cost as a resident.

A standard 90CZK charge is made for emergency hospital treatment. This charge is non-refundable.

Prescriptions

You may be required to make a co-payment for the costs of certain prescriptions depending on their government classification. Generally, however, residents in the Czech Republic have their prescriptions covered by statutory health insurance and will be covered by EHIC.

Pharmacies are called Lekarny in Czech. In most pharmacies, lines are divided into "bez receptu" (or volny vydej) and "na recept". If you have a prescription, queue in "na recept".

Doctors' prescriptions should be taken to a pharmacy within 1 week of being issued, otherwise they become invalid. Prescriptions from emergency services are valid for 1 day only. Prescriptions for antibiotics must be picked up within 3 days.

Bringing your own medicines to the Czech Republic

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 the Czech Republic is likely to change. If you are planning to visit the Czech Republic 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 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 the Czech Republic, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after the UK leaves the EU.

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

Working in the Czech Republic

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

If you are resident in the Czech Republic, you are obliged to pay for statutory health insurance, giving you the same access to healthcare as Czech nationals. Statutory health insurance is provided by 7 different government-approved insurers, which you will have the right to choose between.

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to the Czech Republic, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the Czech Republic. 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 you are resident in the Czech Republic, you are obliged to pay for one of the Government-approved statutory health insurance schemes, giving you the same access to healthcare as Czech nationals.

If you are a UK posted worker, you will also need to pay for one of the government-approved statutory health insurance schemes to continue to receive the healthcare you need.

Pensioners in the Czech Republic

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

If you live in the Czech Republic 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 the Czech Republic. 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

If you are resident in the Czech Republic, you are obliged to pay for statutory health insurance, giving you the same access to healthcare as Czech nationals

People who have continuously lived in the Czech Republic for more than 5 years may be able to apply for a permanent residency.

Students in the Czech Republic

If you are a UK resident and studying in the Czech Republic, 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 the UK leaves the EU, students can apply for a long-term residence permit. Applying for this will cost between 1,500CZK (£52) to 2,500CZK (£69).

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