For a country that has existed for just over two decades, the Czech Republic punches above its weight.
It has a mesmerising history, fairytale castles galore and of course, one of the most cultured and exquisitely beautiful cities on the planet – Prague. This land is also home to some of the most stunning countryside you’ll find anywhere, and some of the most superb brewery towns in the world.
So if you’re off on a trip to this exciting country, whether it’s for work or on a well-earned holiday, you’re in for a treat.
But, as with any trip, things can go wrong, however well you plan in advance with things like a basic health kit, the security of your valuables and good travel insurance.
With a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can receive the state-funded medical care you need, as if you were living in the Czech Republic.
The great news is that this even extends to medical conditions you already have, such as diabetes and asthma, which some insurers may be reluctant to cover. Equally, as long as you’re not actually going to the Czech Republic purely to have your baby, you can also receive routine maternity care.
This card replaced the previous E111 document in 2006, and, in the Czech Republic will entitle you to free or cheaper medical treatment as a UK resident (excluding the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.)
Everyone in a travel party should have their own card, and parents or guardians can apply on behalf of those aged under 16. It’s free.
The EHIC card and insurance
Your European health card should be seen as something that goes with, rather than replaces, travel insurance. Some things, such as repatriation, for example, won’t be covered by the EHIC card.
What’s more, some insurers will waive excess fees of up to £100 if you’ve used your EHIC card – but won’t pay for medical treatment if you forget to take the card but need the healthcare it would have covered.
That’s why it’s so important that you don’t leave home without this incredibly important document.
In the Czech Republic
When in the Czech Republic, make sure your healthcare provider is one which has a contract with a Czech public healthcare insurance fund (HIF), since you won’t be covered if you use a private medical care provider.
If the arrangements for treatment have been made by a travel or hotel rep, take particular care.
Bear in mind that if your trip to the Czech Republic was made just to seek medical care, you will need an advance funding agreement with the NHS, or you’ll be footing the bill in full.
In an emergency
If you find yourself dealing with a medical emergency while in the Czech Republic, dialling 112 is the first step. You will be able to speak to someone in English, and an ambulance will be dispatched if necessary.
Save the number in your phone in case you need it. šťastnou cestu !