Information regarding healthcare in Hungary is available from the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary, Országos Egészségbiztosítasi Pénztár (OEP).
Show your European Health Insurance Card along with your identity card or passport when seeking treatment within public healthcare. This should entitle you to free treatment. It is a good idea to keep paper copies of the European Health Insurance Card or temporary certificate with you, as this allows you to hand them over to the place of treatment.
Hungary also has private healthcare services. If you seek treatment from the private sector, you will be liable for all costs.
Contact a doctor who has an agreement with Hungary’s national sickness fund. This type of doctor can usually be recognised by the following description in Hungarian: “a társadalombiztosítás egészségügyi szolgáltatásaira szerződött szolgáltató” (service provider under contract).
In Hungary, the first place of treatment is a general practitioner (háziorvos). You can see a specialist after receiving a referral from a general practitioner. Specialist treatment is usually available at out-patient care unit (szakrendelő). However, no referrals are required for dermatologists, gynaecologists, urologists, otologists, laryngologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists and surgeons.
You can see a dentist without a referral. Go straight to the practice of a doctor who has a contract with the sickness fund. Dental care is free in the case of emergencies, referrals from specialists, treatments that preserve the tooth, gum diseases or surgeries. The patient is usually liable for the costs of materials. Note that most dentists who advertise their services do not have contracts with the national sickness fund. Usually, contract dentists only offer the above services. Dental care is free for patients under the age of 18 or over the age of 60 as well as pregnant women and women who recently gave birth.
Show your European Health Insurance Card and identity card when collecting your prescribed medicines at a pharmacy (gyógyszertár). This will entitle you to a reimbursement, the level of which depends on the illness and the type of medicine. The reimbursement is deducted from the price of the medicine at the pharmacy, which means that you will only pay for the deductible. However, you may be required to pay full price for certain less necessary medicines.
Public hospital treatment (outpatient or inpatient care) usually requires a doctor’s referral. In case of urgent attacks of illness, you can go straight to a public hospital. Present your European Health Insurance Card and identity card at the reception. Hospital treatment is free except for the following cases:
- You do not have a doctor’s referral for hospital care.
- You seek treatment at a different place than the one appointed by your doctor.
- See a doctor who is not on duty at the moment.
The maximum deductible is HUF 100,000. If you require services above the standard level at a hospital (such as a larger room or special meals), you will be liable for all costs.
You will be liable for all costs of treatment at a private hospital.
Ambulance transport is free in urgent cases when you present your European Health Insurance Card and identity card.
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 from the health insurance body in Hungary or from Kela on form SV 128.
A list of the healthcare service providers operating in Hungary is available on the website of the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (OEP). The service is only available in Hungarian.
You can use the What Clinic online service to look for a dentist, doctor or clinic in Hungary. Notice that this website is not comprehensive with all healthcare providers and it also includes private practioners. The Allianz Worldwide service can be used to find a hospital, doctor or other healthcare service provider in Hungary. The search services are available in English.
When looking for a doctor or hospital that provides a specific type of treatment, you can request assistance from the Hungarian point of contact or the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (OEP).
Practices and costs related to treatment
Specialists operating in Hungary will accept referrals from doctors in Finland or elsewhere in the EU as long as they are written in English. The patient may be required to request a new referral from a doctor in Hungary only in cases where the referral does not contain the necessary information or it contains unclear items.
Doctors who operate in Hungary are only obliged to provide treatment in Hungarian. Generally, however, doctors do speak English.
Hospitals and clinics in Hungary usually require payment before the treatment is started. Most often, the payment is requested in advance by wire transfer or in cash on arrival.
Each month, the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (OEP) updates the treatment prices for patients arriving from the EU region. The updated price list is maintained on the OEP website, but it is only available in Hungarian. You can also enquire about the costs of care by email from address email@example.com.
Quality and safety of treatment
Healthcare professionals in Hungary require a licence. The licences are granted by the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service (NPHMOS).
Healthcare service providers in Hungary are legally obliged to perform internal quality control. More information on the quality and safety standards for treatment is available on the website of the Contact Point of Hungary.