Healthcare in Slovakia


how does the healthcare system work in Slovakia ? Is it efficient ?

What are the main differences between public and private sectors?

Is it recommended to purchase private health insurance in Slovakia?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience !


Healthcare in Slovakia is efficient in general, especially in bigger cities. Doctors are reliable and they're keeping up-to-date. Especially those in the public sector might be a bit overworked, since they usually take care about more patients than is the average in the western Europe - don't be surprised to meet a doctor in not-the-best-mood, however they still do a good job. Public insurance covers any potential healthcare you would need I guess. It is usually possible to pay extra for better comfort - e.g , better room in the hospital, setting exact time for visiting a doctor (normally you have to wait in the queue), extra vaccination, etc. This payment is made directly to the given doctor/clinic/hospital. Private clinics offer better comfort for an annual fee (starting from 250 eur in Bratislava), however they are still based on the public insurance system. They also offer services for people without public insurance, but I don't know about fees. Important for foreigners: their doctors usually speak several languages other than slovak. These private clinics do not cover complicated treatment and surgeries, that is covered only by large state clinics/hospitals.
Due to the system of direct payments for extra services mentined above, private health insurance is used rarely in Slovakia.

57 euro a month!!!  Too expensive!

I had spent more than three years in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia from 2011-2015. I very much liked the place and its people. Some of them will remain my lifetime friends. However, as far as medical facilities are concerned, they are insufficient. They may be good for Slovaks but a non-Slovak speaker will find it very difficult to communicate. People with serious medical issues must explore treatment options  in Vienna or other bordering Austrian cities. Even for minor illness it goes without saying it is best to avoid visiting clinics or they will complicate it.  As usual, private clinics are indulged in money making from diplomatic missions, expats and other international companies. Government hospitals entertains the expats only during emergencies. One has to cough up Euros 50 for a consultation with an English speaking doctor in addition to consultation fee which is reasonable however in comparison to private clinics. Getting an appointment with doctors is herculean task. The government hospital does not entertain expats without references from private clinics . My personal experience with ProCare, a private clinic in Centre Mall in Bratislava, was very-very bad. The clinic used to charge Euro 100 for one consultation of 15 minutes with a General Physician/Pediatrician. This includes some Euro 50 towards administration fee the logic of which I could not understand neither they tried. Fortunately, during last leg of my stay I found a US returned GP who practices  in Medisimo Clinic (the clinic is outside the city centre).  People who are moving to Bratislava may explore buying medical insurance from Germany (a Slovak company has monopoly over medical insurance and they will not reimburse you for most treatments) or consider visiting bordering Austrian cities (15-20 kms), or Vienna (an hours drive) for serious medical issues. All the best.

I have had the state insurance and that is what my son and husband have. I switched because I decided I wanted to go to a place where they had English speaking doctors. A friend told me if you have Union you get a discount. I had to wait a year to switch and the discount is no longer offered. However, the point is, once I switched to Union I have not switched back. I have had no difference with the state vs Union. I purchased a membership at ProCare but there is also Medissimo if you want more English speaking doctors and appointments. Cheers.

What does Union charge?