Applying for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a must before travelling to Cyprus, as it will enable the holder to receive free or reduced cost medical care and treatment in the country.
The EHIC does not cover the cost of private healthcare, so travellers must make sure they’re receiving state healthcare if they wish to avoid potentially costly medical bills.
Generally, if a person is asked to pay up front for treatment or care, this means it is a private facility rather than a service run by the state.
The EHIC should not be viewed as an alternative to travel insurance. Instead, tourists who are going to Cyprus should make sure that they have both travel insurance and an EHIC before travelling.
Travellers planning to visit Northern Cyprus must ensure they secure private healthcare insurance before heading to this part of the country.
This is due to the fact that the government of the republic is not currently able to exercise effective control in this part of Cyprus.
Non-EEA nationals who are visiting Cyprus will be covered only by emergency treatment, while they will also be asked to pay for any inpatient treatment.
Charges for healthcare in Cyprus
In the last few years, a small charge has been introduced that must be paid before accessing medical care and treatment in the country.
A visit to a general practitioner is charged at €3, it costs €6 to visit a specialist, and €0.50 is payable for each prescribed medication. Charges are also likely to be higher for people who do not hold a medical card. In some cases it can cost up to €15 to see a GP and €30 to visit a specialist in Cyprus. A fee of €10 also must be paid for emergency treatment in one of the Cyprus accident and emergency units.
Tourists visiting Cyprus who require hospital treatment during their stay in the country will need to be referred by a GP first, just as they would at home in the UK.
Prescriptions and medicines
It is possible for tourists to take their own medicines when travelling to Cyprus for a holiday. They should be carried in clearly labelled containers and it can also be a good idea to take a letter from a GP – that has been translated into Greek – that says what they are for. People who are travelling to the northern areas of Cyprus should also have the letter translated into Turkish.
Pharmacies in Cyprus usually open at 9am, but typically they close for a few hours in the middle of the day before reopening for the late afternoon and the early evening. Some pharmacies do not open at all in the middle of the week, but there are five pharmacies that offer 24-hour access.
Due to the fact that foreign prescriptions are not officially recognised in Cyprus, it may be the case that pharmacists refuse to accept them, however some will. In cases EHIC holders will be able to book an appointment with a local doctor and get prescriptions from them.