Slovakia is a country full of tourist destinations such as the cultural city of Bratislava and the rural Slovak Karst Caves. Its popularity as a holiday destination, with European Union citizens, is significantly increasing. So if you are one of these citizens planning a holiday in Slovakia, it is worth knowing that you can access public healthcare at a reduced cost or possibly free of charge if you carry a valid European Health Insurance Card.
You can take the stress out of your trip to Slovakia by applying for a European Health Card. The card is recognised throughout Europe and provides access to state provided medical care in many of these countries. If you want to apply for your own EHIC for Slovekia, you can do so on this website.
The EHIC replaced the old E111 form in 2006 and treats you on the same basis as a Slovakian resident during your stay in the country. Therefore, you can use Slovakia’s public hospital facilities if you are involved in an accident or require medical treatment, by showing your EHIC Card at the place of treatment.
The European Health Insurance Card can be used to cover all medically necessary healthcare. It eliminates the risk of accumulating avoidable medical expenses and stops you from having to leave your holiday prematurely. With the EHIC Card, you won’t have to pay any excessive fees up front which come with private healthcare. Public hospitals in Slovakia are renowned for their high quality physicians. Many Slovakian doctors speak in English meaning that communication won’t be too difficult when discussing medical related issues.
If you find yourself in the position of having to pay for medical treatment, the EHIC Card ensures that you are reimbursed for these payments upon your return home. This is not the case for any costs incurred through private healthcare as the EHIC does not cover private healthcare. Therefore, it is advisable to take out travel insurance to cover all eventualities.
So remember to present your EHIC Card if you are involved in an emergency medical situation inside Slovakia. The European Health Insurance Card can save you a lot of money although it will not cover any travel expenses back to the United Kingdom or mountain rescue.
Healthcare in Slovakia
In Slovakia, emergency care is free of charge. This also applies to citizens from the European Union who carry a European Health Insurance Card. On this basis, you should exercise your rights if for any reason you are refused emergency care treatment. Like many other countries, a number of services in Slovakia do charge a small fee. Therefore, remember to keep a hold of all medical related paperwork and receipts to use as evidence for reimbursement.
Language in Slovakia
As explained previously, Slovakia is known for its English speaking doctors. However, it is always a good idea to prepare yourself for the possibility of talking to non-English speaking doctors so always carry a phrase book which contains Slovakian medical terms such as nemocnica and lekaren which are Slovakian for hospital and pharmacist respectively.