Accessing Healthcare in Cyprus

Many European tourists dream of basking in the beaches of Ayia Napa and Larnaca that line the Mediterranean while also learning a thing or two about the archeological sites in Paphos. There are many beautiful destinations and historical places in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus. If you are planning to visit this country, too, together with your family, make sure to obtain your European Health Insurance Card first. Also, apply for EHIC for each individual – your spouse and your kids – in your family. And if you already have an EHIC, make sure that its 5-year validity period is still in effect. Otherwise, you may need to renew it before embarking on a Cypriot holiday.

It is without question that the EHIC is as important as your passport when travelling to Cyprus or to the 26 other countries of the European Union. It is also applicable to the countries that make up the European Free Trade Association – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland. This little card could literally save you huge amounts of money from bills emanating from medical treatments that you might need if in case you meet an accident or even fall ill while visiting any of these countries. As long as you do not enter any of these countries solely for the purpose of receiving treatment of even giving birth, then you are guaranteed access to these countries’ publicly-funded treatments, dental procedures, and pharmacies. It even covers your pre-existing medical problems like diabetes and asthma as well as routine maternity care.

Calling 112 while in Cyprus connects you to their emergency services. Know that Cyprus is politically divided into a northern Turkish part and the southern Greek part. Your EHIC is valid in the Republic of Turkey, which is the southern part of the island. You can ask Milate anglika? from the operator so you’ll know if she speaks English or not. If she responds, ochi or oxi then that means she cannot speak English. You can then say chreiazomai epeigousa iatriki voitheia which means you need an emergency medical assistance. If you do venture into the northern part of Cyprus, they can still provide you with emergency services. So you say ben acil tibbi yardima ihtiyac.

You may also tell the operator voithia which means help; asthenoforo which means ambulance; and yiatros which means doctor. Fortunately, though, majority of Cypriots know how to speak English primarily intended for their millions of tourists every single year.

You may have to take note of other important numbers in Cyprus such as 1400 for hospital information, 1401 for emergencies related to drug and poisons, and 90-90-1432 for on-call doctors in Cyprus.

If you require hospitalization in Cyprus, you will have to ask for a referral from a Cypriot physician. To receive medical treatments at the hospital in the same manner as any other Cypriot, you need to present your EHIC as well as your passport since there is no picture in the EHI Card. Your passport serves to validate the information on your EHIC. If your medical care has been pre-arranged by a tour organizer, ascertain first that the hospital you are seeking treatment for your health condition is a public hospital, not private. If in case you go to a private institution, know that EHIC won’t cover you for any expenses that you may incur.

If you need medications, it is important to obtain a prescription from a licensed physician in Cyprus. Understand that the country don’t recognize foreign prescriptions so, if you do decide to bring your prescription with you, then have this translated and written into a Cypriot prescription before going to a pharmacy. The pharmacies in Cyprus typically open by around 9 in the morning. They then take a few hours’ break at noon and well into the early afternoon before opening again in late afternoon. Some pharmacies in Cyprus are also closed in middle of the week. So it is best to recognize which ones are open 24/7. You can ask around which pharmacies can serve you 24 hours. These are found all over Cyprus.

If you have a pre-existing illness it is highly recommended that you carry with you a letter from your own doctor stating what your illness is and what your medicines are for. You may need to have this translated into both Greek and Turkish and attach these with the original medical certification.

The EHIC, which replaced the E111, is a vital tool for your travels. Apply for one now. You will find that MyEHIC’s online renewal services are fast and efficient so you can focus more on planning for your Cypriot holiday vacation.