Healthcare in Czech Republic

 

 

The Czech Republic offers a healthcare system that is reliable and expat-friendly.

Expats relocating to the Czech Republic will find that the country offers a healthcare system that is not only on a par with other European neighbors but is also expat-friendly.

Healthcare for expats

For foreign nationals, aside from the cost of living, healthcare is one of the items on top of their priority list when making a decision to move. And the Czech Republic understands this utmost consideration for quality healthcare.

Citizens of the European Union are advised to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before moving to the Czech Republic. Having this ensures that an EU citizen can obtain the full benefits of the public health system in the country, just like any citizen. Coverage includes physician and hospital services and emergency care. However if you seek treatment for a pre-existing condition upon moving to the Czech Republic, you may have to dip into your own pocket.

In the event of an accident, loss of consciousness, injury or other emergency, an expat can call the Czech Republic distress line, 112. This number can be reached through any phone, mobile, or landline, without an area code and free of charge. Expats will be relieved to find out that this number also has English and German-speaking representatives who can communicate on their behalf to reach the appropriate healthcare provider.

In addition, language barriers are not a problem in the larger hospitals. These hospitals have a Foreign Care department comprising competent medical care providers who can speak world languages. This department can also serve as intermediary for other transactions in relation to healthcare that requires the assistance of a Czech-speaking specialist. Two of the best-known hospitals in the Czech Republic, the Prague Teaching Hospital in Motol and the Na Homolce Hospital offer these kinds of services.

Foreign nationals, whether they are EU citizens or not, are advised to secure commercial international health insurance to compensate for what the public system does not cover. Expats who are transferring to the Czech Republic to work for a Czech based employer should be able to ask their employer for assistance with securing further coverage.

Non-EU nationals may also make use of the public healthcare system. If you are a long-term or permanent resident of the Czech Republic and are currently employed in the country, expect that healthcare contributions will be deducted from your salary. On the other hand, if you are working freelance you may pay your premiums on an annual basis. Costs for healthcare in Czech Republic are generally lower than in other European countries. You may be charged 30 CZK (Czech Koruna) or US$1.67 for consultations with general practitioners or other specialists. These costs rank Czech Republic 83 of 276 expat destinations in terms of healthcare expense.

Basics on public healthcare

The Czech Republic healthcare system primarily manages social health insurance, ensuring diversity of provision and joint negotiations between public and private organizations regarding coverage. The country's Ministry of Health is the central administrative body in relation to the healthcare provision.

Health coverage is provided through the Government Health Insurance Fund (GHIF) which has 77 district branches. Funding is mostly from statutory contributions. Every health insurance fund has an obligation to accept an application from a person who meets statutory coverage requirements. Those who do not qualify may obtain a voluntary health insurance.

The country has 25,000 health care facilities. These include general practitioner clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and emergency care providers.

Employees pay 4.5% of their salary as a compulsory contribution while the employer pays 9%; this provides a total salary deduction of 13.5% for healthcare. Self-employed or freelancers must make a minimum contribution of 905 CZK or US$50.36.

 

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