Healthcare in Lithuania

 

 

The quality of healthcare in Lithuania is relatively low compared to other EU states. However, expats should not despair because this country is still capable of delivering quality medical and healthcare services to its entire people.

The Lithuanian Ministry of Health regulates the free state-funded healthcare system, which provides coverage to all Lithuanians and long-term foreign residents. Residents from other European member countries are also eligible for the free or subsidised healthcare services as long as they go to state-funded medical facilities. Lithuania currently implements a compulsory health insurance not just for its nationals but also to all expats working and living in the territory. There are five Territorial Health Insurance Funds in Lithuania that covers every region namely: Vilnius, Klaipeda, Kaunas, Panevezys and Siauliai.

Public Healthcare Scheme

Lithuania’s public healthcare system is heavily financed by companies, workers and the government thru the National Health Insurance Fund. By law, all local and international employers based in this country are obliged to register their employees to the scheme along with their dependents who will be automatically covered by the expatriate’s contributions. Self-employed individuals, on the other hand, may avail of cash benefits and health coverage by paying premiums equivalent to 2.2% - 9% of earnings.

The Lithuanian social insurance system provides sickness and maternity benefit to all its members. Sickness and maternity benefits cover ailments, occupational rehabilitation, maternity and paternity care, child care and pregnancy grant. Though there Lithuania already provides free public health care, expats may also opt for private healthcare coverage for a more comprehensive coverage such as emergency evacuation to another country in case the treatment they need is unavailable locally.

Lithuanian Workers’ Medical Benefits

The Lithuanian social insurance system also provides Workers’ Medical Benefits, which include health care services and reimbursement of medicines, and Dependents’ Medical Benefits. Under the Work Injury Benefit or accident insurance, certain government and private-sector employees may avail of Temporary Disability Benefits, Permanent Disability Benefits and Survivor Benefits. The premiums are solely shouldered by the employer. Thus self-employed individuals are excluded. There are no minimum qualifying periods or occupational diseases for Work Injury Benefits.

Visiting a Doctor

Medical providers in the country are well-qualified; Lithuanian cardiologists are regarded as the most advanced in the former Soviet Union. In fact, Lithuania has numbers of doctors per 1,000 people larger than in most Western expat destinations. Doctors or some know as GPs (general practitioners) are the first point of care in this country. Nationals and expats qualified expats should check first if their chosen is GP is contracted to the national health insurance scheme for them to receive a free consultation.

GPs in Lithuania prescribe medicines, treat chronic and acute illnesses and provide preventative healthcare and education. A wide range of specialist services is also available in hospitals and clinics in all major towns and cities across Lithuania.

Hospitals in Lithuania

State-funded healthcare centres offer outpatient services including general practice, maternity and child care, and dental care. Medical facilities, particularly those located in rural areas, are lacking in equipment, supplies and medicines but expats will still find good hospitals in major towns such as Kaunas, Panevėžys, Šiauliai and the capital city of Vilnius. Some of the largest hospitals in the country are:

Smėlynės gatvė 25, Panevėžys 35144, Lithuania

Tel: +370 45 507184

Kudirkos str. 99, LT-76231 Šiauliai

Tel: +370 41 524 257

Eivenių g. 2, Kaunas 50009, Lithuania

Tel: +370 37 326375

08410, Santariškių g. 1, Vilnius 08406, Lithuania

Tel: +370 5 236 5000

Emergency Services and Alternative Treatment

Emergency care is extended to every individual in Lithuania including foreign visitors, free of charge. In case of emergency, contact the following numbers:

  • Medical: 112/03
  • Fire Department: 112/01
  • Police: 112/02

Fork medicine is part of the Lithuanian culture. Although it is not a recognised treatment option, it is being used in medical studies. Traditional healers use yeast, mushroom, lichens, mosses and lycopodium to cure illnesses that range from contagious diseases to mental disorders. Expats are advised to seek the services of professional healthcare providers if needed.

 

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