Health insurance for citizens of EU member states
Since mid 2004 citizens from the individual EU member states, who travel temporarily to another EU member state and hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), are automatically insured. All healthcare providers in the EU, the EEA and Switzerland must accept patients from the EU in possession of an EHIC.
Health insurance for citizens of countries not in the EU
Citizens of countries outside of the EU should take out health insurance before leaving home. If they fail to do so, they are liable to pay for treatment at the point of delivery.
Extra insurance cover
Individuals from EU member countries can also take out extra health insurance cover (covering repatriation). The Czech State Health Insurance Company provides a commercial insurance product for those staying in the country for longer periods as tourists (www.vzp.cz). You will find more information on health insurance in the Czech Republic on the Centre for International reimbursements website(www.cmu.cz).
Private and state healthcare facilities operate in the Czech Republic. The majority of them have agreements with the State Health Insurance Company on the provision and payment of healthcare. They provide patients with healthcare which is free at the point of delivery (this is also true for citizens of EU member countries holding a European Health Insurance Card – EHIC).
Accident and Emergency
Sudden illness, injury and other emergency situations are dealt with by the Accident and Emergency department in a special area of the hospital. Should a life threatening situation arise, a paramedic can be called direct to the scene by calling 112.
Pharmacies in the Czech Republic issue medicines and other materials necessary for treatment and healthcare based on doctors’ prescriptions and sometimes without them. Prescription medicines are issued free of charge or for a small fee if the patient’s health insurance does not cover the full amount. Some must be paid for in full by the patient.
Validity of a doctor’s prescription:
- A prescription from an A&E department is valid on the day it is issued and the following day
- A prescription for antibiotics is valid for 3 days
- All other prescriptions are valid for one week