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Healthcare in the Czech Republic

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

  • moving to, or already living in the Czech Republic
  • visiting the Czech Republic, for example on holiday

Your options for how you access healthcare in the Czech Republic may change if there is a no-deal Brexit. You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances if you are moving to, visiting or living in Czech Republic.

Living in Czech Republic after Brexit

You should be ready for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there is a no-deal Brexit and you are a UK national living in the Czech Republic.

You should review your access to healthcare now. There may be a gap or permanent change in how you access healthcare if there is no deal and no agreements with Czech Republic in place. For example, if you are a current S1 form holder, or a posted worker or student using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you will not be able to rely on 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 the Czech Republic
  • registering for healthcare under the local rules and legislation of the Czech Republic
  • buying comprehensive health insurance while you are applying for residency, or if you are not eligible for local schemes

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

If you are resident in the Czech Republic, you can choose to join one of the government approved statutory health insurance schemes, giving you the same access to healthcare as Czech nationals. Statutory health insurance is provided by 7 different government-approved insurers

You should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK if you are living in the Czech Republic and are not currently eligible for a UK-issued S1 form or EHIC. 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 are living in the Czech Republic on exit day and you:

This will remain the case after exit day.

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test you will be able to access NHS care without charge.

Visiting the Czech Republic after Brexit

You should prepare for possible changes to your access to if there is a no-deal Brexit and you are a UK national travelling to the Czech Republic.

UK-issued EHICs will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Your EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with the Czech Republic 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 health conditions, talk to 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 or living in the Czech Republic after Brexit.

Healthcare in the Czech Republic until the UK leaves the EU

Finding help in an emergency

If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency in the Czech Republic, dial 112. Calls are free of charge.

Visiting the Czech Republic

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you're planning to visit the Czech Republic. 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. Use of an ambulance or air ambulance is free where this is deemed necessary.

Your EHIC enables you to access necessary state-provided healthcare in the Czech Republic at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, if you are staying there temporarily.

Make sure you are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with any of the Czech state healthcare insurance funds (HIFs). An EHIC will not cover you for private (non-contracted) healthcare. You will not be able to claim back any private healthcare costs.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork.

Pre-existing health conditions

You should buy medical travel insurance before visiting the Czech Republic 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 is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with the Czech Republic and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

If you're travelling to have planned medical treatment, read our guide to 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

You need to be referred for specialist 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.

Doctors' prescriptions should be taken to a pharmacy within 2 weeks 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 5 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 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 you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

Visit GOV.UK for more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

Living in the Czech Republic

S1 certificate

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in the Czech Republic 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 form.

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. When you move to the Czech Republic, you will need to register your S1 certificate with one of the local HIFs and receive their insurance card.

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 are 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).

The certificate may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Czech Republic and might mean you have to pay in full for treatment.

It is possible to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU. It is important to have all the right documentation and that it is 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 under 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.

Working in the Czech Republic

If you are resident in the Czech Republic, you can choose to join the 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.

UK posted workers

You may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK if you are a worker posted by a UK company to the Czech Republic.

You can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC):

Students in the Czech Republic

If you are a UK resident studying in Czech Republic your UK-issued EHIC will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Your EHIC may not be valid after exit day if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with the Czech Republic 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.

Read more about healthcare when studying abroad.

For more information about healthcare when living abroad, read our guide on planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

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