Healthcare in the Czech Republic

During a visit to the Czech Republic, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will enable you to access necessary state-provided healthcare on the same basis as a resident of the country.

It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.

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

You should be particularly careful if the healthcare arrangements have been made by a hotel or travel representative.

Remember, 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 may mean that you have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.

If you travel to the Czech Republic with the specific purpose of obtaining medical treatment, you must have applied for funding with NHS England in advance, otherwise you may have to pay the full costs of your treatment.

Check out the seeking medical treatment in Europe section for more advice about treatment abroad.

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 recue 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 Centrum mezistatnich uhrad (Centre for international reimbursements) will be able to provide information.

Centrum mezistatnich uhrad (CMU)
Nam. W. Churchilla 2
11359 Prague 3

Telephone: 0042 0236 03 3411 E-mail: info@cmu.cz
Website: www.cmu.cz

You'll be able to obtain a list of local health professionals that are registered with the HIF.

Health services and costs

You're covered with your EHIC in the Czech Republic. But there's a standard fee of 90CZ koruna (CZK) for emergency medical services, including emergency dental services.

If you move to the Czech Republic long term or plan to work in the country, you'll have to register with one of the public health insurance funds. Your insurance company will issue you a card, which you have to take with you whenever you visit a doctor, dentist or specialist.

Doctors (Doktori)

Consult a doctor registered with a Czech health insurance fund. If the doctor doesn't have a contract with any Czech health insurance fund, you're effectively a private patient and will have to pay the full treatments costs, which aren't refundable.

You should be issued with an appropriate number of copies of a Potvrzeni o naroku (certificate of entitlement) by the doctor. You'll have to present the certificates to the provider of any treatment or medication you get.

You may be charged for prescriptions for medicines, laboratory tests or other examinations.

Dentists (Zubari)

Basic dental care is covered by the health insurance system. But charges are made for some dental treatment (covering things like the cost of materials used or above-standard treatment). You'll also be charged 90CZK for any emergency dental treatment. These charges are non-refundable.

Hospitals (Nemocnice)

You'll need a referral from a doctor for specialist care if it isn't an emergency.

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

Prescriptions (Recept)

The charge for prescribed medicines varies. You may need to pay some or all of the cost for a prescription medicine if it's not covered by the public health insurance system.

Pharmacies are called Lekarny in Czech. In most pharmacies, lines are divided into bez receptu 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.

Ambulance

Use of an ambulance is free where it's deemed necessary.

Air ambulance

Use of an air ambulance is free where it's deemed necessary.

How to claim refunds

Generally, if you use your EHIC to obtain state healthcare in the Czech Republic, you shouldn't be charged anything other than the standard patient contribution fees.

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

The most common treatments or conditions that require advance arrangements are listed below. For all other conditions or treatments, you should consult your GP. Remember, for all treatments abroad you must present your EHIC.

Oxygen therapy

Ensure your EHIC is valid before you travel. In most cases you'll have to use the authorised oxygen company for the country you're travelling to. You'll also have to make your own arrangements, including arranging for permission from your hotel to deliver and install the equipment. There may also be additional costs that the EHIC won't cover.

Your home oxygen supplier isn't required to provide a service outside the UK, but most suppliers will be able to advise you on what to do. Your oxygen treatment clinic will organise your home oxygen supply from one of these suppliers:

Air Liquid: Call them on:

  • 0808 143 9991 for London
  • 0808 143 9992 for North West
  • 0808 143 9993 for East Midlands
  • 0808 143 9999 for South West

Baywater Healthcare: covers Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands and Wales. Call them on 0800 373 580. For more information, visit the Baywater Healthcare website.

BOC: covers the East and North East of England. Call them on 0800 136 603.

Dolby Vivisol: covers the South of England. Call them on 0500 823 773.

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) may have additional oxygen contacts for the country you're travelling to. Their website offers general advice about travelling abroad with a lung condition.

Ensure you allow plenty of time to make all your arrangements before you travel.

Dialysis

You need to speak to the co-ordinator in your UK dialysis unit, who'll contact the dialysis unit in the Czech Republic nearest to where you'll be staying. The Renal Association offers a way to look up UK renal units.

Ensure you make your arrangements according to your UK schedule. There also may be different guidance depending on what type of dialysis you receive. Make sure you speak to your doctor before you travel. In addition, visit the National Kidney Federation website, which offers general advice about travelling with a kidney disease, as well as specific guidance for haemodialysis patients, peritoneal dialysis patients, and guidelines for transplant patients.

Read more advice about travelling with other conditions:

Living in the Czech Republic

Permanent residents and employees

Permanent residents of the Czech Republic and those employed by companies with registered offices in the Czech Republic are required to make mandatory contributions to one of the Czech public health insurance funds.

There are 7 public health insurance funds and all of them provide the same extent of healthcare cover:

All Czech citizens, registered foreign residents and companies with a base in the country must make regular contributions. Students under 26, dependent children, pensioners and some vulnerable groups are exempt from payment. Some employers are obliged to pay the fees on behalf of their employees.

If you're 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 3506
  • Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010
  • Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday – closed weekends and bank holidays For more information, see the Moving abroad section.

Studying in the Czech Republic

If you're moving to study or currently studying in the Czech Republic as part of a UK-recognised course, you may be entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK government.

Also read:

Pensioners

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

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

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.

Once issued, register the S1 form with the relevant authority in the Czech Republic. Often you need to do this before you can register for healthcare or obtain a medical card.

Once you have registered your S1 in the Czech Republic, you'll be entitled to apply for and use a UK-issued EHIC to access state-funded necessary medical treatment when you visit other EEA countries.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides useful information about Living and working in the Czech Republic.

Page last reviewed: 23/02/2016
Next review due: 23/02/2019