Healthcare in Croatia



Croatia's healthcare system is on par with European and American high standards. Expatriates relocating to a developed country like Croatia will be exhilarated to know that quality health and medical services doesn’t come with an overwhelming price tag.

Indeed, health is wealth, and it is essential that an expat should consider quality healthcare before signing up for that attractive compensation package on the contract. Most foreign assignees that come to Croatia with a secured job offer would normally have international health insurance through their company. Generally speaking, all visitors to Croatia are entitled to free emergency services such as first aid treatments at state-funded hospitals. This country is also a signatory to agreements with several EU member countries such as the United Kingdom which means that nationals from these states are entitled to free medical treatment in Croatia.

Croatian Health Insurance Fund

Around 95% of funding for healthcare in Croatia comes from public or government sources. With the establishment of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF) back in 1993, revenue from compulsory health insurance has increased. Some funding also comes from external sources like the UN and the World Bank. Revenue from these organisations had helped improve public healthcare facilities and brought better healthcare to far-flung areas in Croatia.

Employed expats in Croatia would be paying social security contributions which mean that they also have the benefit of utilising the public healthcare system. All of the funds collected from the working population are handled by the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (CIHI). The payment for compulsory health insurance amounts to 16% of an employee's income and is an expense shared by both the employee and the employer.

The Public Healthcare System

Public healthcare in Croatia is provided through health centres, emergency care centres, home care centres, and pharmacies. There is at least one health centre for every municipality that provides primary healthcare. These centres ensure that emergency care, diagnostic services, and even maternal care are readily available to the people.

Secondary healthcare can be obtained from any of the country's 84 hospitals. With better facilities and inpatient procedures, these hospitals offer services for obstetrics and gynaecology, internal medicine, surgery, and inpatient paediatric care. Croatia also has sanatoria (spas) that are considered part of the country's natural healthcare combining natural elements with physiotherapy and massage. Tertiary healthcare, on the other hand, is provided by university clinics, clinical hospitals, and clinical hospital centres. Aside from providing healthcare on a more advanced level, they also specialise in medical research. Some of the most prominent hospitals in Croatia are:

Hospitals in Croatia

As mentioned earlier, Croatia has an abundance of hospitals particularly in most major towns and cities. These medical facilities are mostly funded by the CIHI and are categorised either as a specialist or general hospital. General hospitals offer treatment for internal medicine, surgery, inpatient care for children as well as obstetrics and gynaecology while specialist hospitals provide treatments for chronic illnesses and particular diseases. Both of these are also equipped with outpatient facilities. Croatia also has a growing number of polyclinics that offer services such as rehabilitation, diagnostic and specialist consultations. Expats who wish to visit one of these clinics are required to secure a referral from a GP. Croatia has an estimated total of 79 clinics and hospitals and the three top ranking hospitals are:

Visiting a Doctor

Doctors in Croatia must pass internship requirements and the medical licensure exam; licensed and regulated by the Croatian Medical Chamber. Passports are essential when you visit a doctor in Croatia. Always bring them along when visiting a doctor, especially if you are from the United Kingdom. Doctors in Croatia expect cash payment upfront and do accept credit cards. They charge approximately USD 30 for a consultation fee but visiting foreigners are entitled to free basic emergency first aid treatment.

Expats that are members of the CHIF are advised to seek doctors that are within the public healthcare system so that their visit will be free of charge. General Practitioners or GPs are the first point of contact of patients in Croatia and their referral is a requirement before one can see a specialist or receive a hospital treatment. Take note that GPs in Croatia are more experience in emergency and trauma care than their counterparts in most Western countries so expats can rest assure that their urgent medical needs will be well taken care of.

*Contents in Visiting a Doctor section integrated in this article.


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