The healthcare system in Slovakia falls under the competence of the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic. In Slovakia, there are state and private health care providers. An initial medical examination is provided by state or private general practitioners. Everybody can choose a general practitioner who usually provides basic health care and can refer a patient to an appropriate specialist for further medical examination.
If a foreign national has health insurance, the health care provided is paid for by the insurance company. Depending on the type of service provided, the health insurance company will pay for this service either in full or partially. If the health insurance company pays for the service only partially, the rest is paid by the foreigner directly to the health care provider. If a foreign national does not have health insurance, he/she must pay the full amount for health care provided.
Health care in Slovakia is financed by health insurance. Having health insurance in Slovakia is obligatory and a proof of health insurance is required also as a part of a temporary residence granting procedure.
It is not possible to choose a country of your health coverage. Which country is responsible for your healthcare depends on the employment situation or the place of residence, not the nationality.
There are 2 types of health insurance in Slovakia:
European Health Insurance Card
EU/EEA/Swiss nationals are entitled to health care under the same conditions as the nationals of the Slovak Republic. For entitlement to medical treatment on the basis of health insurance in another Member State (EU, EEA, Switzerland), an EU/EEA/Swiss national must present a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to the healthcare provider (EHIC will be issued at your request by a health insurance company to which you pay health insurance premiums). In such case, the treatment of an EU/EEA/Swiss national will be covered by a Slovak health insurance company to the same amount as for a Slovak national, provided the relevant physician has concluded a contract with at least one health insurance company.
International Students (Including PhD Students)
International students who come to Slovakia to study within a scholarship programme arising from an international bilateral agreement (and that agreement is binding for the Slovak Republic) is subject to statutory health insurance, the Slovak Republic being the payer of such insurance. The student shall submit the necessary documents certifying his/her study at a higher education institution in the Slovak Republic and its international status – proved by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. Other international students must be insured privately (commercial health insurance).
Additional Individual Health Insurance
Foreigners who are not duly insured can conclude commercial health insurance in the territory of the Slovak Republic.
There are 3 health insurance companies in the Slovak Republic. Health insurance companies are free to contract with providers and negotiate quality, prices and volumes individually. All of them are joint stock companies governing public resources and function in the whole territory of Slovakia. Everyone has the right to choose his/her health insurance company:
Under the Slovak Constitution, every individual – a citizen of Slovakia or a foreigner – staying in Slovakia has the right to be provided with the necessary health care. Everyone has the right to choose his/her own health care provider.
General practitioners and specialists have their consulting rooms in hospitals or in medical centres. Upon your arrival, you should ask for details of a local doctor who will be able to provide information on the standards.
In every town, there is either a private or state dental practice (in Slovak: “zubár”, “stomatológ”). Upon arrival, you should ask for details of the chosen dentist. Note that it is usually essential to book an appointment with a dentist in advance. However, for emergency cases, there is usually an emergency stomatology practice in hospitals.
Every university town has a hospital (in Slovak: “nemocnica” or "poliklinika”) with an Urgent and Emergency departments (in Slovak: “pohotovosť” or “urgentný príjem”) and many specialised clinics.
More information is available at:
Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic (most of the information in Slovak only)
List of medical facilities and doctors (in Slovak only) or use mobile Google maps hospital search
If you need emergency services (in Slovak: “záchranná služba”), dial telephone number “112”. Ambulances are well staffed and equipped with life‑sustaining apparatus needed to safely transport patients to hospitals.
Hospitals provide 24-hour emergency services. List of emergency medical care providers in Slovakia is available here (in Slovak only).
You can buy medicines in pharmacies (“lekáreň”) only; they are located in every town and in some villages (they are marked with a green cross). Every town has to have at least one emergency pharmacy (in Slovak: “pohotovostná lekáreň“) open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – for further details consult the information posted on the door of every pharmacy. If you require treatment at night, look for the sign “nočná služba”. Pharmacies sell domestic and foreign medical products.
Certain medicines can be obtained only with a prescription from a physician. List of pharmacies in Slovakia is available here (in Slovak only).