Medical care in the Czech Republic is highly professional and of good quality. Healthcare in the Czech Republic is generally on par with the rest of Europe, and indeed several of the country's key health indicators are above the EU average. In some fields, Czech doctors are at the cutting edge worldwide. Healthcare is provided both by state-run and private medical facilities. All citizens and residents of the Czech Republic are required by law to be covered by health insurance.
If you get ill or have any health concerns while in the Czech Republic, you should first of all see a general practitioner, known as a praktický lékař (these specialise in either adults or children), or a dentist or gynaecologist if the problems are in their field. These are doctors you need to be registered with, and it is a good idea for all members of your family to register with the relevant ones once you arrive in the Czech Republic, and to attend regular preventative check-ups with them. When choosing your general practitioner, remember to check that they have a contract with your health insurance company. Your general practitioner, dentist or gynaecologist will provide basic care in their field and if further, or specialist care is needed, they will refer you on to the relevant specialists and clinics.
If you have commercial health insurance, ask your health insurance company for a list of the doctors they work with.
If you are looking for an English-speaking doctor:
- Ask your health insurance company
- Ask other foreigners you meet in Prague, colleagues and friends for recommendations
- Contact EURAXESS
The extent to which dental care is covered by health insurance companies (including VZP), varies depending on whether the care is provided by a clinic that has a contract with that insurance company, or not. If the clinic does not have a contract with your health insurance company, the insurance will only cover emergency treatment. Note that even where the clinic does have a contract with your health insurance company it is very likely that you will be offered treatments that you need to pay for.
When looking for a dentist who accepts new patients, you may in the first instance ask your health insurance company for a list of dentists near you, or ask your colleagues and friends for recommendations. The Czech Dental Chamber publishes a list of all dentists in the country.
Your dentist is required to offer you treament that is covered in full by your health insurance company. The treatments covered by VZP insurance are listed in a document called the úhradová vyhláška. These are diagnostic and therapeutic procedures using standard grade materials. The dentist may also – after explaining the procedures that are covered by insurance – offer you treatments using higher grade materials. These are treatments that are not covered by VZP insurance, and for which you will pay privately. Make sure you know the price of any treatment you agree to, and check the price-list when registering with a new dentist. Your dentist is required to issue you with a receipt for all payments you make at their clinic.
When necessary, your doctor will refer you to a specialist based at a clinic or hospital. You can also consult these specialists without a referral from your general practitioner, should you wish. If your condition requires hospital treatment, you may be referred by your general practitioner or by a specialist. Hospital treatment is usually covered by public health insurance (if you have commercial health insurance, check with your insurance company what they cover).
If you have a serious accident or suffer from a health condition that comes on suddenly, or suddenly worsens, at a time when your doctors are not available, you will need to attend the nearest hospital or clinic providing a medical Emergency Service – pohotovostní služba. There is a standard charge for visiting the emergency service, of 90 Kč.
If you are in need of emergency treatment and cannot safely and quickly get to a doctor or hospital by yourself, you should call an ambulance (in Czech: záchranná služba) to provide you with first aid and take you to the nearest hospital. Call 112 or 155.
Pharmacies are very commonly found in all Czech towns and many villages, so there is bound to be one near you. In large towns, some pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If your doctor prescribes you medication, you may obtain that medication from a pharmacy; phrarmacies also sell a selection of over-the-counter medicines for which a prescription is not required, and other health-related products. Some prescription medicines are fully covered by health insurance, while for others the patient must pay part or all of the cost (when collecting the prescription from the pharmacy).