The Estonian healthcare system is recognised for its quality, accessibility and efficiency.
Estonia has set up a modern, well-organised healthcare system that aims to provide high-quality medical care for its entire population. The country attaches great importance to disease prevention and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
The healthcare system in Estonia is based on a model of compulsory health insurance. All Estonian residents benefit from this, and insurance contributions are deducted from wages and other income, providing basic cover.
Compulsory health insurance provides access to primary and specialist healthcare, including medical consultations, prescription drugs, hospital care, diagnostic tests and necessary treatments. Preventative healthcare and vaccinations are also included.
Although basic cover is provided by compulsory health insurance, patients must pay some contributions towards certain services. This may include consultation fees, a share of hospital charges and a contribution towards the cost of prescription drugs. The amounts vary according to the services and the income of each individual.
The family doctor is your first point of contact for primary healthcare in Estonia. Everyone must choose a family doctor who provides regular consultations, routine care, health check-ups and referrals to specialists if necessary. Family doctors play a key role in coordinating care and are generally well placed to provide ongoing, personalised care.
In multi-purpose medical clinics (Poliklinik), you can consult doctors specialising in different fields such as dermatology, gynaecology, cardiology, paediatrics, etc. They offer a wide range of outpatient services, including medical consultations, diagnostic examinations and treatments, and are located in different towns and regions of Estonia.
Pharmacies (apteek) are located throughout the country and provide prescription and over-the-counter medicines. You can obtain pharmaceutical advice and buy your prescribed medicines at these establishments. Pharmacies in Estonia are generally well-stocked and pharmacists are happy to answer any questions you may have about medicines.
For permanent residents, it is not necessary to take out additional health insurance. However, if you are an expat or plan to stay temporarily in Estonia, you may wish to consider international health insurance for extended cover, medical assistance abroad and other additional services.
In addition to compulsory health insurance, individuals have the option of local private health insurance for extended cover, specific services or access to private medical establishments.
Most basic health services are covered by compulsory insurance. Here are some indicative examples of healthcare costs in Estonia:
Consultation with a general practitioner: between €15 and €30;
Specialist consultation: between €25 and €50;
Hospital fees (per day): approximately €20;
Prescription drugs: The patient's contribution varies depending on the drug, generally between 10% and 50% of the total cost.
It is important to note that these figures are indicative and may vary depending on various factors such as the place of treatment and the specific nature of the care required.
Estonia has a network of public and private hospitals, as well as specialised medical centres, where you can benefit from more advanced medical care and specialised treatments. These establishments are equipped with modern medical technology and house qualified medical teams for surgical procedures, complex treatments and in-patient care.
The Tervisekassa (Estonian health insurance) site provides information on the health system in Estonia, the rights of policyholders, the services covered and partner health establishments. You can find information on family doctors, clinics and hospitals.
The Estonian Health Agency (Terviseament) website provides information on public health in Estonia, including health programmes, health policies and healthcare resources. You can find information on health establishments, health recommendations and preventive services.
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