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Slovakia Healthcare


Slovakia has an average to poor standard of compulsory state funded healthcare and many hospitals are in debt. State healthcare is available on equal terms to all citizens and registered long-term residents. Private healthcare is also available in the country, although it is little used. Foreign residents may find it preferable to utilise the medical facilities in neighbouring Vienna, Austria. The Ministry of Health oversees the health service. The Office for the Supervision of Healthcare supervises the five health insurance companies and the healthcare establishments and controls what is offered as part of the basic healthcare package, known as 'the solidarity package'.

Healthcare is provided for free to all Slovak nationals. Health insurance from EU member states may be used in Slovakia. It is necessary to provide form E111 upon seeking care. The specifics of what care is covered are somewhat vague, as the law states "all necessary healthcare". In any case, emergency care at state hospitals is covered under EU health insurance plans. For clarification, contact the Slovak Ministry of Health.

There are several highly qualified English-speaking physicians and dentists with private practices in Bratislava, Kosice and Banska Bystrica. The quality of care they provide is excellent by any standard.

There are 44 hospitals in Slovakia and they are managed by the regions. Hospitals have been under-funded in recent years and are in need of new equipment and technology. Sometimes hospitals have been unable to purchase certain drugs and medical devices, although the situation is improving. Hospitals and clinics exist in all major towns and cities. Patients are admitted to hospital either through the emergency department or through a referral by their doctor. Once a patient is admitted treatment is controlled by one of the hospital doctors. There is a waiting list for some non-emergency treatments and services.

Public Healthcare

There are five health insurance companies responsible for the collection of the health insurance contributions and for reimbursements.

The General Health Insurance Company covers the majority of the population. The Common Health Insurance Company is the second largest and both are guaranteed by the state. Citizens are able to change insurance company at any time, but there is little competition between the insurance companies, although more recently insurance companies have attempted to attract people to their funds. There appear to be no identifiable benefits for the public in having such a choice of companies. The money collected by each insurer is paid to the state run General Health Insurance Company for rationalisation.

Health insurance is mandatory for all income-earners. The government pays contributions for those citizens who are exempt for contributing like the unemployed, old age pensioners and people on long-term sickness benefit, maternity leave, job seekers, those on disability benefits and reservists. Employers must register their employees with one of the health insurance funds when a new employee starts work. Employees pay 4% of their basic income into the fund, whilst employers pay 10%. Employed disabled people need only contribute 2.6% of assessed income because the state makes up the remainder. Self-employed citizens must pay the full 14% contribution, which is calculated as 50% of the income on which they paid tax in the previous year. The minimum wage for healthcare contributions is approximately 91 EUR and there is a top limit whereby you do not need to contribute any more to the insurance funds, which makes this a system biased towards high income earners.

Dependant family members are not covered by the contributions paid by employed or self employed family members. Foreigners immigrating to Slovakia without jobs must produce proof of private health insurance in order to obtain their residence permit.

The state fund covers most medical services including treatment by specialists, hospitalisation, prescriptions, pregnancy and childbirth, and rehabilitation.

Private Healthcare

Few people take out additional health insurance, which is offered by the five insurance companies. Those that do use it either have no state cover or use it to supplement the state healthcare in areas not covered by the basic care package. Voluntary coverage does reimburse treatment abroad.

Dental care in Slovakia is mainly private and dentists are paid on a fee for service basis.





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