Accessing Healthcare in Hungary

If you want a really superb Hungarian holiday, you need to adequately plan for it. You can spend a week of two exploring the 19th century bridge on the Danube in Budapest or even frolic in the freshwater beaches of Lake Balaton. And if you have kids, Debrecen’s water parks and zoos as well as Szentendre’s museums will surely be a treat. Hungary is one of the surprisingly progressive states in the European Union. That is why if you really want to experience the renowned Hungarian hospitality, you need to travel with your European Health Insurance Card, formerly the E111.

This EHIC card is what you will present to Hungarian public health authorities in case you will be in need of medical assistance while enjoying the storied past of the country. These necessary treatments are given to you free of charge and if there will be a fee to be paid, then this will be significantly lower compared to those in the private sector and when you don’t have your EHIC. Most of all, part of your payment can be successfully reimbursed while you are still in Hungary.

Visiting a foreign land can have its inherent risks. You can fall ill, meet and accident, or simply not feel really well. If such condition requires treatment that cannot wait until your return to your country, then you are entitled to the health and medical services provided by the state institutions of Hungary.

You may find communication to be an issue, however, especially if you will be seeking healthcare from relatively smaller towns and cities farther away from the capital Budapest. Nevertheless, many of Hungarian doctors can speak English as well as other people because the government has already established English as a second language. Aside from their native tongue, Hungarians also speak German.

Health centres and GP surgeries in Hungary normally open from 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening. You don’t need to schedule an appointment with them if you need a medical consultation. However, you may have to visit them earlier as they typically serve patients on a first-come first-serve basis. Hungarian general practitioners can also provide you with a referral letter which you can present to a state-owned or government hospital should you require inpatient hospital treatments. In cases of medical emergency, hospitalization does not require any referral. Suffice it to say, every time you are going to avail of any type of health service from a recognized government health institution or even a professional, you need to show them your EHIC together with your passport just for validation purposes.

Public hospitals in Hungary can provide you free on-demand treatment that an include surgery, medications, and laboratory and diagnostic tests. Also provided free of charge are emergency medical management of asthma as well as labor and delivery; provided, you did not purposely go to Hungary just to receive treatment for your asthma or to give birth to your child. Necessary treatments for chronic conditions such as dialysis, oxygen therapy, and even echocardiography are also provided absolutely free of charge provided coordination was made well in advance.

These healthcare services are free. However, because of the current standards of healthcare employment in Hungary, majority of healthcare professionals working in the government or public sector are overworked yet underpaid. It is thus, not uncommon that some Hungarians will resort to under-the-table negotiations to help expedite the provision of healthcare.

Hungarian doctors will not ask you outright for this kind of transaction and you are not obliged to give in. However, it is very important that you show your E111 or EHIC even before receiving the treatment. This helps inform the attending healthcare professional that you are a visitor in Hungary and that you are availing of their services under the EHIC scheme.

If the Hungarian GP prescribed medications for you, you need to go to a government or state pharmacy and show them the prescription together with your EHIC. Depending on the classification of your prescription medication, you may have to pay a certain fee which, unfortunately, is non-refundable. Nevertheless, the cost of the medicines are still way more inexpensive compared to those that you purchase from private pharmacies as well as when you don’t have your EHIC.

The European Health Insurance Card is your essential travel partner for your necessary health care needs. Get your EHIC before you leave for Hungary. The fastest and most convenient way to apply for EHIC is by getting the services of MyEHIC. You can rely on them to deliver results in half the time it would normally take to process your EHIC application.