Healthcare for Expatriates Living in the Czech Republic
Are you planning on moving to the Czech Republic to spend an expat life? Or are you already living the cultured life in Prague? Is healthcare your major concern? The healthcare system of the Czech Republic is modern and developed and has over 25,000 hospitals, clinics, and private medical practitioners. Czech Republic’s standard of healthcare is one of the best in the European Union (EU), know more about the Czech Healthcare System Information. It’s the affordability and standard of medical treatment that the country offers that makes it a popular destination for medical tourism.
Overview of Healthcare in the Czech Republic
The Czech medical system consists of a good infrastructure of public and private hospitals. The number of doctors per inhabitant is one of the highest in the Czech Republic among all the EU countries. A multicultural population thrives in the Czech Republic consisting of almost half a million foreigners. The healthcare standards in the Czech Republic are on par with most European countries. Those planning a long-term or permanent relocation to the Czech Republic need to understand how the country’s healthcare system works.
It is a must for Czech citizens, registered foreign residents, and employees of companies based in the Czech Republic to make regular contributions to this fund. Employers have to mandatorily pay a portion of the monthly fee with the employee contributing the rest of the fee. People employed independently are required to make healthcare contributions individually to the extent of 13.5% of the tax base. Some of the expatriates may have to pay a small stipend for the medical treatment that they receive. Long-term visitors use private insurance companies to buy health insurance while short-term travelers are expected to purchase travel insurance that suits the duration of their stay. Healthcare coverage in the Czech Republic even covers dental care, and it is free for all citizens.
Due to its reciprocal healthcare agreements with other countries, citizens of the Czech Republic can avail medical treatment in other EU countries too. EU and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens also have access to free medical care in the Czech Republic through their EHIC. The EHIC card is free for those who qualify for the conditions. EHIC cardholders can avail free or subsidized treatment, and those who have to pay for it can get the amount reimbursed in their home or host country later.
How the Czech Healthcare System Works for Expats
Expats usually opt for international health insurance plans because such plans allow for medical services to be availed in the best of private facilities. These plans also include air evacuation to a better hospital if needed. Expats can check with the concerned insurance company about the list of hospitals where their insurance plans are valid.
Expats who do not hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), have no permanent residency, and are not employed by a Czech company are not entitled to free medical care. That does not mean that expats can do away with buying health insurance. It is still compulsory for them to purchase health insurance if they are staying in the country for over 90 days. They are required to present proof that they are covered under a private healthcare scheme.
Public Healthcare in Czech Public
The public medical care system is excellent and heavily subsidized in the Czech Republic. Public medical care centers managed by the government are very well equipped. Most major cities of the Czech Republic have public hospitals and these facilities are big enough to accommodate up to 1000 patients at any particular time. Most doctors in public hospitals have qualifications from Western medical universities and speak fluent English. They are highly qualified and extensively experienced. Though the patients get proper care in public healthcare facilities, there are times when the waiting time can be a bit on the higher side due to a large number of patients and short consultation hours.
Private Healthcare in the Czech Republic
Medical care available in the Czech Republic is one of the best in Europe. The private medical system is excellent with modern facilities and highly qualified and trained staff. Though a little on the expensive side, private healthcare as compared to the public healthcare system in the Czech Republic is convenient and well-equipped to cater to expat patients. There are no long queues to navigate and prompt attention is given for medical treatment. The Czech medical system consists of a good infrastructure of public and private hospitals. The number of doctors per inhabitant is one of the highest in the Czech Republic among all the EU countries.
Emergency Services in the Czech Republic
The availability of emergency services (Záchranná Služba) in the Czech Republic is generally good as is the ambulance response time. The emergency dial number to get connected to the EU emergency line is 112. Dialing this number ensures that you will be responded to by an English-speaking operator. Czech medical emergency services can be reached at 155.
Pharmacies in the Czech Republic
Pharmacies are widely available in the Czech Republic with some open 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Some of the pharmacies are found attached to hospitals. Prescriptions do not remain valid if not presented at the pharmacies within a set time. Prescriptions from emergency services expire after two days, antibiotic prescriptions after five days, and others after two weeks.
Best Private International Medical Insurance for Expats Living in the Czech Republic
To avail the best possible healthcare facilities, it is advised that expatriates buy appropriate health insurance after going through the many plans available to them. Almost every international health insurance company has a different package from the others. Cigna is one of the leading companies whose plans are popular with the expat population already living in the Czech Republic. Many European expats also like our Allianz plan. But it is prudent that expats compare health insurance plans of a few international insurance companies before finalizing on buying the one that suits them the best.