UkraineSlovakia.sk

Healthcare. How it works and what services are available for foreigners in Slovakia.

Table of contents

Do you need medical help?

If your health condition has suddenly worsened, your life would be in danger without immediate help and you cannot get to the emergency medical clinic yourself, call the emergency medical service. However, if your health condition allows it, visit the emergency room in person.

Emergency medical service

If your life is in danger, call one of the emergency medical service lines. The service is intended for serious conditions, such as heart attack, major injury, etc.

  • 155 – Emergency medical service
  • 112 – Uniform European emergency phone number (it works in every EU country and you call the nearest integrated rescue system centre)

Urgent care clinic

Has your body temperature risen, do you have an allergic reaction, has your health condition suddenly changed, but it does not directly threaten your life?

You can search for urgent care outside the office hours of your general practitioner. You can find the location and opening hours of the nearest urgent care clinic or dental emergency via the app Otvorenalekaren.sk.

Healthcare and health insurance

Healthcare in Slovakia is a paid service. In general, everyone who does not have health insurance must pay for the services provided. If you have health insurance, your insurance company pays for healthcare services in full or in part.

No health insurance

If you do not have health insurance, you must pay for healthcare services in full. There are some exceptions. Read to find out more.

Mandatory public health insurance

It is a system established by the state. You can only have mandatory public health insurance if you meet the prescribed conditions (read more). Based on this insurance, you will be entitled to free or partially paid medical services.

Commercial health insurance

Commercial health insurance is a suitable option if you cannot enter in the compulsory health insurance system. Based on this insurance, you will be entitled to healthcare to the extent that you agree on with the insurance company. You should get commercial health insurance before arriving in Slovakia.

Urgent healthcare

Foreign nationals are entitled to receive emergency healthcare from doctors who are connected to the public system. However, these services may not be provided to you free of charge.

  • If you have no health insurance, you must pay the full amount for healthcare services.
  • If you have commercial health insurance (e.g. travelling insurance), you have to pay the full amount for healthcare services. You can send the bill for provided healthcare services to your insurance company for reimbursement.
  • If you live in Ukraine and you have entered the territory of Slovakia from Ukraine, you are entitled to free urgent healthcare for 30 days following your entry (or until you apply for one of the forms of international protection, Temporary protection). If you entered the territory of Slovakia from another country, you will pay the full amount for healthcare.

You will be provided with urgent healthcare in case of a sudden change in your health condition that immediately threatens your life or any of the basic life functions, without prompt medical care can seriously endanger your health, causes you sudden and unbearable pain or causes sudden changes in your behaviour and actions, under the influence of which you immediately endanger yourself or your surroundings or if it is suspected that you are the source of a rapidly spreading and life-threatening infection.

Doctors and emergency clinics must not refuse a patient who needs urgent care. Find out in advance where such care can be provided to you and at what times. You can find contacts at e-VUC.sk or in List of dental emergencies.

Examples of urgent healthcare

  • Emergency service,
  • Treatment of injuries,
  • Examination for suspected COVID-19 disease,
  • Laboratory, instrumental and professional examination recommended by a doctor,
  • ECG and other instrumental cardiovascular examinations (partly charged)
  • Urgent dental treatment and a tooth extraction, if necessary,
  • Urgent transport to a healthcare facility,
  • Gynaecological examination in urgent cases,
  • Gynaecological examination during pregnancy,
  • Childbirth.

Persons with the status of temporary protection

If you have been granted the status of temporary protection in Slovakia, you are entitled to full health care on the territory of Slovakia, just like the citizens of the Slovak Republic.

The only exception is spa treatment. This can only be provided to you if you enter the mandatory public health insurance system, for example when you have a job.

See the details below.

Full healthcare

Only persons involved in the mandatory public health insurance system are entitled to free or partially subsidised full healthcare (read more below).

This is the kind of healthcare that Slovak citizens with health insurance are entitled to. It must be provided to foreigners under the same conditions.

Examples of full healthcare

  • Complex examination by a general practitioner,
  • Creation of medical record documentation and a treatment plan,
  • Preventive medical examinations by a general practitioner and a specialist,
  • Preventive dental examinations,
  • Dental procedures (partly charged),
  • Vaccination,
  • Entrance examination of a child before starting school,
  • Examination of functional development and psychomotor development of a child,
  • Examination before surgery,
  • Complex examinations, regular medical examinations and treatment by a gynaecologist,
  • Complex examinations, regular medical examinations and treatment by other specialists based on a recommendation of a general practitioner,
  • Treatment of chronic diseases,
  • Free and partly subsidised medicines and medical devices,
  • Oncological examinations and treatment,
  • Spa stays based on a recommendation of a doctor,
  • Full or partial reimbursement of costs for the purchase of dietetic food if prescribed by a doctor,
  • + All items included in urgent healthcare (see above).

Mandatory public health insurance

Everybody who has mandatory public health insurance is entitled to full healthcare. It does not matter what monthly insurance premium you pay.

The insurance premium for mandatory public health insurance is paid every month.

Even if you are insured, the case may be that you do not have to pay the insurance premium. The person who is insured is not always the payer of the insurance premium.

  • Employers are insured, but do not pay the insurance premium. The employer will deduct the insurance premium from their gross salary. The amount of the insurance premium depends on the amount of the employee’s income.
  • Entrepreneurs and self-employed persons pay the insurance premium themselves. The amount of the insurance premium depends on the income of the entrepreneur.
  • Full-time students at primary school, secondary school and university are insured but do not pay any insurance premiums. The state pays the insurance premiums for them.
  • Unemployed persons registered at the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family are insured but do not pay any insurance premiums. The state pays the insurance premiums for them.
  • Social benefit recipients are insured but do not pay any insurance premiums. The state pays the insurance premiums for them.

Foreigners and payment of insurance premiums

As a foreigner in Slovakia, you can only be included in the public health insurance system if you meet one of the following conditions.

  • If you are under the age of 18 including (an exception granted only to Ukrainian citizens).
  • If you study in Slovakia based on an international agreement.
  • If you have been granted asylum in Slovakia.
  • If you are legally employed in Slovakia and your salary is at least equal to the statutory minimum wage (see current amount of statutory minimum wage).
  • If you are authorised to be self-employed in the territory of Slovakia.
  • If a child under the age of 18 who has a residence permit in the territory of the Slovak Republic and whose at least one legal representative has health insurance in the territory of Slovakia, he/she can be insured.

If any of the above events occur, submit an application to the health insurance company of your choice within 8 days (see list of health insurance companies).

Health insurance companies

The following health insurance companies offer mandatory public health insurance. The scope of healthcare provided is the same by law, regardless of the health insurance company you choose. Health insurance companies offer different benefits to their clients, which you can find out about on their websites.

You can only change the health insurance company at the end of the calendar year.

Commercial health insurance

If you are not or cannot be included in the mandatory public health insurance system, you can buy commercial health insurance that will protect you during your stay in Slovakia (e.g. valid travel insurance that you should already have before crossing the border).

The UNION insurance company provides special commercial health insurance to citizens of Ukraine. The amount of the insurance premium varies according to age and health status from 0.8 euros to 4 euros per day. Before concluding a health insurance contract, it is necessary to fill out a health questionnaire.

Find more information at UNION.sk.

General practitioner

If you are insured in the mandatory public health insurance system, you can choose a general practitioner in your place of residence or anywhere else in Slovakia.

Persons who have been granted the status of temporary protection are also entitled to a complex examination by a general practitioner, even if they do not have mandatory public health insurance.

The medical examination begins with a general practitioner, who will also create your medical record documentation with the history of your health condition. If necessary, the general practitioner will refer you to a specialist.

Doctors and contracts with health insurance companies

In order to be able to use the benefits of mandatory public health insurance, the following is necessary.

  • You have mandatory public health insurance in one of above health insurance companies.
  • Your doctor must have a contract with your health insurance company. You can find the logo of the health insurance company on the door of the outpatient clinic or on the websites of individual doctors. Many doctors have contracts with all health insurance companies.

COVID-19

If you are a citizen of Ukraine, you can get vaccinated against the coronavirus free of charge. Addresses and opening hours of vaccination centres can be found at Vaccination centres.

You can book a different place, date and time of vaccination at Korona.gov.sk.

Children and young people under the age of 18

Ukrainian children and young people under the age of 18 (including) who have been granted the status of temporary refuge or asylum in Slovakia are entitled to full healthcare just like Slovak children and young people under the age of 18.

Read more at Full healthcare.

Dental care

Most dental services are not free of charge even for people who have mandatory public health insurance. Dental services are partially charged.

Health insurance companies recommend to undergo a preventive dental examination once a year.

You can find contacts for emergency dental services at List of emergency dental facilities.

Gynecology and obstetrics

Childbirth is considered urgent healthcare. You cannot be denied medical assistance. However, this does not mean that this service is free of charge
for you.

You are entitled to free preventive gynaecological examinations during pregnancy and free childbirth if:

  • You have been granted the status of temporary protection, asylum or additional protection.
  • You have applied for asylum.
  • You are employed or self-employed.

Check in the above text what level of healthcare you are entitled to and whether it can be provided to you free of charge.

During labour, one close person can accompany you in the hospital. The right to an accompanying person is granted by the regulation of the Health Care Act.

You can find a list of hospitals that provide healthcare during pregnancy and other information about gynaecological and obstetrical care for women from Ukraine Women´s Circles.

You will be provided with information about sexual and reproductive health, your reproductive rights, getting an abortion and contacts for abortion clinics by the organisation Option to Choose.

Summary

I am crossing the territory of Slovakia to go to another country

You have to pay for the healthcare in full. Read more in Urgent healthcare.

I am in Slovakia within visa-free regime

You have to pay for the healthcare in full. If you entered the territory of Slovakia from Ukraine, you may also be entitled to free or partly subsidised urgent healthcare. Read more in Urgent healthcare.

I have been granted the status of temporary protection

Just like the citizens of Slovakia, you are entitled to free or partly paid full health care (except for spa treatment).

I have additional protection

You are entitled to free or partly subsidised urgent healthcare, medicines, medical devices and dietetic food. It is necessary to submit an entitlement card that is issued by General Health Insurance Company.

I have been waiting to be granted asylum

You are entitled to free or partly subsidised urgent healthcare and further healthcare determined by a doctor during an examination.

I have been granted asylum

You are in the mandatory public health insurance system. The state pays a health insurance premium for you. You are entitled to free or partly subsidised full healthcare.

Frequently asked questions

1. I have been granted the status of temporary refuge in Slovakia. Can I freely choose a health insurance company for mandatory public health insurance when starting a job?

Yes. You can choose a health insurance company as you wish. If you already had health insurance in your previous job in Slovakia, you remain a client of the same insurance company. You can only change your health insurance company once a year. In this case, you must submit the application for the change by 30th September.

2. How does the scope of free healthcare change if I have the status of temporary protection and I quit or lose my job?

On the day your employment ends, the scope of free or partially charged healthcare changes to that which you had before starting your job. Read more in Persons with the status of temporary refuge.

3. What should I do if all general practitioners in my place of residence refuse to register me in their database?

According to the law, general practitioners in your place of residence are obliged to register you in their database if you have mandatory public health insurance or you have been granted the status of temporary protection in Slovakia. Sometimes you need to demand your rights and insist on registration. If you have a health insurance company, you can ask them for help.

4. Do I have to pay at the emergency room even though I have mandatory public health insurance?

Yes. A fee of 2 to 10 euros is charged at the emergency room.

5. Waiting periods for medical examinations can be several weeks. Can I get an earlier appointment if I cancel the current appointment and apply again?

No, you will not get an earlier appointment. Cancelling your current appointment may result in an even later appointment.

6. Is staying in hospital due to illness or injury free of charge?

If you have been granted the status of temporary protection in Slovakia, your hospital stay is free of charge. The same conditions apply to you as to people who pay mandatory public health insurance. The hospital may charge you for extra-standard services (for example, a separate room, the stay of an accompanying person), which are not specified in the law.

7. I want my partner to be present during labour. Is it possible?

Yes, according to the Health Care Act, you have the right to one accompanying person during labour. This person can be anyone you choose.

External links

Table of contents

Did you like this article?

Need advice?

More articles

Cash assistance for refugees with vulnerabilities 2024

Arriving in Slovakia – how to proceed?

Applying for Asylum in Slovakia

Arriving in Slovakia – how to proceed?

Map of services