Learn About Healthcare for Expatriates Living in Croatia
Croatia is a central Europian country offering stunning coastlines with crystal clear waters. Expats living in this country can attest to the fact that Croatia is rich in culture, beauty, and delicious feasts. Before you head to this Mediterranean dream, learn about the Croatia healthcare system and insurance options for expats and global citizens.
The healthcare system in Croatia is on par with the best in the world. It provides a classified compulsory insurance cover to all inhabitants of the country. It conforms with the regulations and voluntary insurance from the Croatian Health Insurance Fund. Expats can further go for a comprehensive international health insurance plan to obtain optimum coverage wherever they go.
Croatia’s social health insurance system is in tune with the principles of equality and synergy. It means citizens will pay their contributions as per their capacity to get primary healthcare services based on their needs. The CDC offers some great information on health in Croatia.
Overview of Healthcare System
The healthcare system in Croatia is centrally administered. The state runs the hospitals, whereas the county government regulates their respective medical centers. The Minister of Health has multiple responsibilities. He is in charge of regulations, the annual national health plan, monitoring health status and healthcare requirements, reforming the standards of healthcare infrastructure, monitoring training, and hygiene supervision, fixing parameters for the quality of food, medicinal products, and education in healthcare.
Generally, the conditions of healthcare in Croatia are is excellent. But the practices, management, and procedures at the medical facilities do not match the Western. In case you need any medical assistance, but do not want to or can’t bear the entire expense, you can opt for the services of a facility or healthcare provider that falls within the ambit of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF).
Organizations that have signed contracts with the CHIF provide free public sector healthcare services at every service outlet. European citizens visiting Croatia should be able to obtain these facilities at subsidized rates only if they have an authentic EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).
In the event of a third party providing you medical services (for instance, a tour guide or hotel employee), you must, on priority, ascertain that they have made arrangements for you to go to a hospital with a CHIF contract. If you go to a private hospital or healthcare facility, you will have to bear the entire cost of the treatment yourself. Having travel insurance will come in handy and cover the bulk of your expenses.
How Croatian Healthcare Works for Expats?
When applying for Croatian residency, expats are required to get themselves registered and make payments to the state health system. It makes them eligible to access healthcare services from public doctors. In most cases, healthcare is almost free (except in the case of small payments for specific specialists). The consumer is also required to deposit advance approximately equivalent to a year’s medical expenses before using the system.
Croatia also has several private doctors who either take cash payments or accept their remuneration through private insurance.
Public Healthcare in Croatia
The Ministry of Health regulates the healthcare system in Croatia. It is responsible for health policy, planning and evaluation, public health programs, and framing the laws of capital investments. The Ministry of Finance has a central and influential role to play in allocating funds for healthcare and is authorized to plan and manage the government budget.
Finances for the Croatian public healthcare system come in the form of funds from social health insurance contributions, co-payments, voluntary complementary health insurance, privately provided supplementary health insurance, the state budget, and the local self-administration county units’ budgets.
All municipalities have health centers along with a network of basic healthcare units. Health centers provide gynecology and orthodontics services to all the people living in the cities. Besides this, it is also their responsibility to ensure the population with emergency healthcare services, diagnostic services, and health education. Remote rural health centers also have provisions for specialist outpatient care under the supervision of a hospital. A few even have requirements for maternity and short-duration inpatient services.
General hospitals offer medication and treatment for obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, operative and inpatient infant and childcare. Specially equipped hospitals have provisions for treatment and inpatient care for uncommon ailments and chronic diseases.
Private Healthcare in Croatia
Every large town and city has a sizeable network of hospitals. The bulk of the finances come via contracts signed with the Croatian Health Insurance Institute. These hospitals can be classified as either general or specialized hospitals. Both kinds of hospitals have outpatient facilities and services.
Croatian citizens have the choice to avail health services from private healthcare providers that are not under HZZO (National Social Health Insurance Fund) contracted partners, either directly or via supplemental insurance that insures the payment. All inhabitants of Croatia must have insurance through HZZO, irrespective of whether they like to use it or prefer private insurance.
Emergency Medical Services in Croatia
Call 112 for all types of emergencies in Croatia, irrespective of whether you need an ambulance, or want to call the police or a fire brigade. Your call will be responded to considerately, and all your queries answered in detail. Helpline number 112 is accessible through cell phones as well as landlines.
Best Private International Medical Insurance for Expats Living in Croatia
In Croatia, the government runs a mandatory health insurance scheme. This scheme is for every individual living in Croatia, irrespective of your status as a student, temporary resident, or citizen. If you’re thinking about moving to Croatia, you must gear up for an international health insurance cover before you file for any residence permits. Popular ones include Allianz International or Cigna Global. Before choosing your best coverage, compare and research available policies. If you have any questions, we’re happy to answer them.