Medical care

Living in Europe | Medical care | Hungary

Hungarian doctors are famous throughout the world for their expertise. Basic healthcare is free for European Union residents (plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland), if they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Further medical services are charged. State hospitals charge less, than private clinics. If you plan to stay in Hungary your own expense you should purchase the most suitable insurance package at home.

Before travelling get information from your local social security authority about your coverage status while abroad. Also ask your Hungarian employer in advance about the possibility to get a social security number/card (TAJ number/card) in Hungary. If you have this number, you are entitled for full medical care and sick-pay in Hungary and will not need a supplementary insurance during your work time in the country (over the European Health Insurance Card).

If you need necessary medically treatment, it is advised to see a general practitioner (GP) first. The GP decides whether further specialised out- or inpatient treatment is necessary and will issue a referral. Specialised outpatient care, typically available at outpatient centres, is rendered generally upon a referral. However, you may seek outpatient care without referral if the treatment relates to dermatology, gynaecology, urology, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, oncology or general surgery. Hospital treatment is normally provided through a referral from a GP, in urgent cases no referral is necessary.

For dental care, both locals and expats generally visit private dentists. The cost of dental work, even private, is much lower than in the US and Western Europe.

Pharmacies (gyógyszertár or patika) are well stocked and can provide medicaments for most common ailments. All bigger towns have an all-night pharmacy open every day, a sign on the door of any pharmacy will help you locate the closest one.

Where a doctor or dentist issues a prescription, it should be taken to the pharmacy, where the EHIC shall be presented as well. Subsidies on medicines can vary according to disease and type of product. The subsidy is provided directly to the pharmacy, so the amount you will have to pay at the purchase of the prescribed medicine is a co-payment and therefore it is not refundable.

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