For those living in a foreign country, understanding the healthcare system and foreign laws can pose a challenge for many. Last week, The Brno Expat Centre held a seminar on healthcare and medical services to help tackle some of the ambiguity that surrounds the system. Missed the seminar? Not to worry, we compiled a list of important topics below that were addressed by the healthcare panelists: Healthcare insurance for foreigners:
- It is compulsory to have health insurance coverage in order to get a visa and live in the Czech Republic.
- EU citizens can obtain the same public health insurance as Czechs. However, it may be a little more difficult for EU citizens who are not working (i.e. students or those who are self-employed), as you will need to provide evidence and valid reasoning for living in the country.
- Non-EU citizens who have been living in the Czech Republic for five years can enter the public health system. Otherwise, you require private health coverage!
Tip: find out which hospitals and doctors your insurance provider has an agreement with. If there is a contract between the two, this may or may not affect whether you have to pay up front, as well as the amount you pay. General Practitioners (GP): Payment: visiting your general practitioner will cost 30CZK per visit. If you need to see a specialist, your GP will arrange for this; the financial arrangements are the same as in the case of treatment by your GP. Registration: while it is not illegal to visit more than one GP, It is recommended for patients to choose and register with one primary care giver. One advantage of registering with a GP is receiving managed care by allowing your doctor to keep track of your medical record. Another advantage is being accepted at a speedier rate, ensuring that you receive the best possible care when needed. **If for whatever reason, you are unhappy with the doctor you registered with, you can change to a different GP after three months. On the other hand, if you’ve found someone you trust and would like to continue seeing, ask them for a registration form. Dentistry: The most frequently asked questions when it comes to dentistry are about insurance and payment. Here’s what you need to know:
- Public health insurance covers up to two checkups a year, x-rays, plan of treatment (you will still need to pay the regular 30CZK fee)
- Fillings range quite a bit in price, depending on the degree of the cavity and the type of filling that is used.
- For those who have Private health insurance – you will have to pay for almost everything up front (checkups, x-rays, etc.), reimbursement will depend on the treatment received and health insurance conditions listed in your coverage.
Tip: It is advised to register with a dentist (even perhaps before you need any work done), this will ensure that you are accepted quickly if acute problems occur. If you are not registered, it is possible that a dentist will not accept you for treatment. Prenatal Support & Care: Where can women give birth in the Czech Republic? This is a very important question, as there are many laws that foreigners may not be used to when it comes to giving birth in the Czech Republic. See below for some important information about giving birth in CZ:
- According to Czech law, women can only give birth in a maternity hospital.
- Home birth is not condoned by the Ministry of Health. It is illegal for healthcare providers (nurses, doctors, midwives, etc.) to aid a home birth.
- There are no permitted birth centres in the Czech Republic, only maternity hospitals.
- Pregnant women must register with a maternity hospital of your choice. When it comes to the maternity hospital and prenatal care, health insurance covers only basic care.
- Typically, you will have to pay for what is considered premium services such as: gender screening, 3D ultrasound and all services provided by a midwife.
- Midwives in the Czech Republic must have a university education (graduated with Bc at least) and they are required to be registered under the Ministry of Health.
- Midwives must also have a contract with your chosen maternity hospital; otherwise they cannot provide professional help. They can only offer their company and support.
Tip: You can check if a midwife is registered under the Ministry of Health at the following website: http://www.ckpa.cz/ There are three maternity hospitals in Brno:
- FN Brno (2 workplaces- Bohunice a Obilní trh)
- Hospital Milosrdných bratří
- Hospital Vyškov
- Hospital Ivančice
For more information on prenatal care and where to find recommended midwives, etc visit: http://www.maly-svet.cz/htm/cs/uvod.phtml Legal Human Rights & Vaccination: Compulsory vaccinations for adults: (diseases we are obligated to get vaccinated against):
- petrussis (whopping cough)
- polio disease
- hepatitis b
Compulsory vaccinations for children:
While it is illegal to not have your child(ren) vaccinated, there are three possibilities to evade the vaccinations:
- Permanent contraindications (a condition or factor that serves as a reason to withhold a certain medical treatment, if you have an allergy, etc.) –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraindication
- Immunity against the disease
- Question of religion or conscience (this pay exempt you from paying a fine, however, social exclusion may still occur).
** If you refuse vaccination for your child(ren), you will have to pay a fine of 10,000CZK/400 euros from each parent. Your child(ren) may also experience social exclusion, for example from school, field trips, etc. For more information on healthcare insurance (or to apply for health insurance) please visit the Brno Expat Centre’s website where you can download an updated Info sheet from November 1st: Brno Expat Centre: http://www.brnoexpatcentre.eu/services/health/ Foreigners.cz: http://brno.foreigners.cz/health-insurance-for-foreigners