Healthcare. How the public health insurance and doctors work in Slovakia.

Emergency healthcare is free for refugees.
Foto: Gorodenkoff / Adobe Stock

26. March 2023


Emergency healthcare

If your life is in danger, call one of the emergency medical help lines. Health care will be provided to you immediately and free of charge.

  • 155 – Emergency medical service
  • 112 – The single European emergency number (it works in every EU country. You will be redirected to the integrated rescue system)

Nearest medical emergency

You can find out the location and opening hours of the nearest medical and dental emergency in the application

Public health insurance

If you want to live in Slovakia, you will be included in the public healthcare system. Thanks to health insurance, you get free or partially paid medical examinations at a medical practitioner and specialist doctor, ambulance trips, therapies, operations, preventive examinations, medicines, medical devices and other related services. Public health insurance is compulsory. It is paid every month and the premium depends on your income.

  • For employees, the payment of the insurance premium is deducted from the salary.
  • Entrepreneurs and self-employed persons must pay their own insurance premiums.
  • Full-time students in primary, secondary and higher education do not pay insurance premiums, the state does it for them.
  • Unemployed people who are registered at the Labor Office do not pay insurance premiums, the state does it for them.
  • People who receive financial aid from the state do not pay insurance premiums, the state does it for them.


Several health insurance companies operate in Slovakia. By law, the scope of insurance coverage is the same in every insurance company, the only differences are the benefits provided.

If you get a permanent residence, register with one of the aforementioned health insurance companies within 8 days.

You can only change your health insurance company at the end of the calendar year. If you do not have compulsory health insurance, you must pay for all health services and the purchase of medicines in full yourself.

Medical practitioner

If you are included in the health system and pay the compulsory health insurance, there is a general practitioner in your place of residence you can register with. A medical check-up always starts with a general practitioner who, based on the examination, will recommend you to the care of a specialist.

Doctors and contracts with insurance companies

In order to be able to use the benefits of public health insurance and not have to pay the full amount for the services of a doctor, two things are necessary.

  • You have public health insurance contract with one of the above-mentioned health insurance companies
  • The doctor has a contract with your insurance company. You can find the logo of your insurance company on the clinic door or on the doctor’s website. A large number of doctors have contracts with all insurance companies.

Access to health care

Persons who have been granted the status of a temporary refugee

  • These persons are entitled to free and partially paid emergency health care and other necessary health care, which is determined by the doctor during the examination. Currently, these are routine examinations, preventive examinations, treatment of chronic diseases, psychological care, vaccinations. The Ministry of Health can expand scope of health care provided. At the doctor, show proof of temporary refuge.

Persons passing through Slovakia

  • Persons who did not apply for temporary refuge, asylum or supplementary protection. They are entitled to free and partially paid urgent care within 30 days from the day of entry into the Slovak Republic.

Persons granted supplementary protection

  • They are entitled to free and partially paid health care, medicines, medical aids and dietetic food. It is necessary to prove yourself with a claim card issued by Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (General Health Insurance Company).

Persons who applied for asylum

  • They are entitled to free and partially paid emergency health care and other necessary health care, which is determined by the doctor during the examination.

Persons granted asylum

  • They have health insurance (they have access to free and partially paid health care).

Persons who are staying in Slovakia under visa-free regime

  • They do not have access to Slovak health insurance and must pay for medical services in full. We therefore recommend taking out commercial health insurance in advance.

Health line for Ukraine

Do you have questions about your health or do you need to find your way around the Slovak health system? Health line for Ukraine provides health consultations with specialists in the Ukrainian language. The service is available free of charge every day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Call +421 2 210 250 75 or visit the website


If you are a citizen of Ukraine, you can get vaccinated against the coronavirus for free. You can find addresses and opening hours of vaccination centers on the page Vaccination centers. You can book a different place, date and time of vaccination on the website

Children and young people up to 18 years of age

Ukrainian children and young people under the age of 18 who have been granted the status of temporary refuge or asylum in Slovakia are entitled to full health care in Slovakia to the same extent as Slovak children and young people.

Dental care

Be prepared that most dental services are not free. If you are not covered by the mandatory health insurance system, you pay the full amount for dentist services. Even if you have health insurance, be prepared to pay extra for most dental examinations.

We recommend that you undergo a preventive dental examination every year, which will include taking an X-ray of your teeth. Contacts for dental emergencies can be found on the page List of dental emergency clinics.

Gynecological and obstetrical care

Childbirth is considered urgent health care, which is provided free of charge to every person in Slovakia. Care during pregnancy, however, falls into the category of non-urgent health care. Its free provision therefore depends on your status. For example, if you have been granted the status of temporary refuge or you have filled asylum application due to your health (pregnancy), you have the right to receive this care free of charge.

Hospitals providing health care during pregnancy and other useful information about gynecological and obstetrical care for women coming from Ukraine can be found on the page Ženské kruhy.

External links

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