Usually, medical services are provided by a private company which has a contract with the public healthcare system. In larger localities, tourists are generally referred to a health centre (dom zdravlja). Each municipality has its own health centre responsible for providing basic health care. Tourists are referred, if necessary, to the nearest hospital (bolnica) in larger towns. By presenting your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you should receive the needed care in the price of co-payment (10 HRK = € 1,33).
Medical care for tourists during the season is known as “turistička ambulanta”. It’s important to bear in mind that “turistička ambulanta” is established only during tourist season, and so far they don’t have contract with healt incurance fund, which means that you have to pay for the care yourself.
There English-speaking doctors and pharmacists in all the tourist areas.
Choose a doctor or a dentist who has an agreement with HZZO, Hrvatski Zavod za Zdravstveno Osiguranje (Croatia´s Health Insurance Fund ). Present your European Health Insurance Card at the appointment.
Treatment by a physician is free of charge. Emergency dental treatment is free of charge. A client fee of 10 Croatian Kuna is always charged for a visit, however.
There are hospitals and specialised facilities in all the larger towns, and smaller clinics are located throughout the country.
A referral from a primary care doctor is required for hospital treatment. Care is covered by healt insurance if the hospital has a contract with HZZO, a client fee. You will be charged 20 % of the price of hospital treatment. The maximum amount per receipt is HRK 2,000 (about € 266). At the hospital, present your European Health Insurance Card.
You can obtain medicines prescribed by a primary care doctor from a pharmacy (farmacija) that has a contract HZZO (all pharmacies which dispense prescripton drugs have contract wit HZZO). Localities in which there is a health centre have the largest number of pharmacies.
You will be charged a fee of HRK 10 per prescription.
The opening hours of pharmacies vary. For example, in Dubrovnik the pharmacies are open from Monday to Friday, from 7 am to 8 pm, and from 8 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. The address of the pharmacy on duty for emergencies is often indicated on pharmacies doors. In some tourist areas pharmacies are also open on Sundays.
Ambulance transport in emergencies is free of charge.
If you have to pay all costs yourself
If you have to pay the full price for treatment at a local public healthcare unit for which you would have been entitled to reimbursement with a European Health Insurance Card, you can apply for reimbursement retrospectively. You can apply for reimbursement either from the health insurance institution of the destination country or from Kela on form SV 128.
The National Contact Point of Croatia‘s website has a list of healthcare service providers that are part of Croatia´s public healthcare system and that cooperate with the country´s Health Insurance Fund.
The list does not include healthcare service providers which do not have a contract with Croatia´s Health Insurance Fund. Croatia does not maintain a list of service providers that offer services mainly to foreign patients either. The Croatian Ministry of Health is currently compiling a register where this information will be available in the future.
A referral is usually required in Croatia to consult a specialist or access hospital care in the case of treatment covered under compulsory health insurance. Healthcare service providers that do not have a contract with the Health Insurance Fund (private outpatient clinics, hospitals and doctors’ surgeries) determine their practices themselves. In general, a referral is not needed for private health services, and you can consult a specialist, for example, directly.
Although a referral is not required, it is a good idea to bring medical records (in English) relevant for your treatment when seeking treatment in Croatia.
Costs of treatment
All prices are the same in hospitals belonging to Croatia´s public healthcare system. Croatia´s Health Insurance Fund regulates prices. There may, however, be slight differences. The prices of all public healthcare providers are available in advance for patients who are not covered under health insurance in Croatia and who pay for their treatment themselves. You can ask the reception desk at hospitals and medical centres, for example, about prices.
In Croatia, private healthcare service providers set their own prices. The country´s medical association sets minimum prices for private treatment, but an upper limit has not been specified. Information on prices of treatment is available on the respective websites of each service provide. It is recommended that you check the price with the service provider directly before seeking treatment.
Quality and safety of treatment
The Agency for Quality and Accreditation in Health Care and Social Welfare (AAZ) publishes quality indicators for treatment on a regular basis. Hospital-specific quality data is not, however, available. The criteria for the quality and safety of treatment given by hospital and other healthcare providers are currently being determined. If necessary, you can request further information from the Contact Point for Croatia.