In the Czech Republic, patients are charged a customer fee as a deductible for the use of public healthcare services. . The contact information for the funds is available on the website of theHealth Insurance Bureau. The site has comprehensive information on healthcare also in English.
If you were required to pay in cash for your treatment, the health insurance fund cannot reimburse you for your costs during your stay in the Czech Republic. In this case, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively.
Make an appointment with a general practitioner who has an agreement with the Czech health insurance system (most doctors do). Contact information for the doctors is available at the local offices of the health insurance funds. Doctors’ practices are usually open on weekdays between 7:00 and 17:00.
Show your valid European Health Insurance Card and your identity card at the practice. If you do not have these documents with you, please be prepared to pay full price for your treatment in cash.
The doctor will issue a Czech certificate of entitlement to healthcare (Potvrzení o nároku) on the basis of your European Health Insurance Card. For the purposes of the certificate, the doctor will ask how long you intend to stay in the Czech Republic and will ask you to choose one of the health insurance funds. You can choose the fund freely and it will cover your medical costs in the Czech Republic. By signing the certificate prepared by the doctor, you confirm the duration of your stay, the selection of the fund and the fact that you have not travelled to the Czech Republic for the express purpose of receiving treatment.
The doctor will collect a customer fee of CZK 90for first aid outside of office hours..
You can see a specialist after receiving a referral from a general practitioner. You can see a paediatrician or a gynaecologist without a referral. If the doctor orders further examinations, they should provide you with a corresponding number of copies of the Czech certificate of the right to healthcare. This copy must be shown to the doctor who performs the additional examination.
You can see a dentist (zubari) without a referral. The procedure is the same as with the general practitioner; the fee, in urgent case is CZK 90. Additional charges may also be due for treatments and materials that exceed the standard level (for example, teeth filler materials).
When a doctor prescribes medicines, they will accompany the prescription with a copy of the Czech certificate of the right to healthcare. This certificate entitles you to a discount on medicines at the pharmacy. The reimbursement for different medicines varies between 0 % and 100 %.
A doctor’s referral is required for hospital treatment. In urgent attacks of illness, you can go straight to a hospital that has a contract with a Czech health insurance fund.
At the hospital, you need to present your European Health Insurance Card and your identity card. The fee for first aid treatment is CZK 90.
Ambulance transport is free when you present your European Health Insurance Card at the facility providing the treatment.
If you are required to pay full price
If you are required to pay full price for public healthcare treatment that should have been covered by the 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 Czech Republic’s national point of contact maintains a search service where you can find information on healthcare service providers who welcome foreign patients. The service providers have voluntarily registered themselves in the search service. You can search for a place of treatment according to location or medical specialisation.
Practices and costs related to treatment
In the Czech Republic, a referral from a general practitioner is usually required for specialist care or hospital treatment.
Some of the clinics and hospitals will accept referrals in English. However, there are also service providers who require a referral in the Czech language and written by a local doctor. You should agree on this in advance with the place of treatment.
There are no guideline prices or indicative price lists available for healthcare services in the Czech Republic. Some of the healthcare service providers publish their treatment prices online. The best cost estimate can be obtained by contacting the provider directly.
Quality and safety of treatment
Healthcare service providers operating in the Czech Republic are required to fulfil specific criteria (training, quality of treatment and tools, standards of hygiene etc.) but the country does not have a compulsory quality assurance system or quality classification.
If you are unhappy with the treatment you received in the Czech Republic, the instructions for complaints available from the national point of contact will provide assistance.