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Medical and Health
Like many countries in Eastern Europe, Estonia is suffering a brain drain of doctors and nurses to the West. Despite this, the standard of medical care is generally looked on as good, especially in the capital Tallinn.
Documents needed: Passport and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Doctors and Hospitals
The EU medical card doesn’t cover private treatment, so make sure to use a healthcare provider that has a contract with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund.
Visits to a GP are free for card holders. There’s a small charge for a doctor’s call-out, also for treatment if you need to see a specialist for an existing medical problem (e.g., cardiologist for a heart problem).
If you have to go into hospital, there’s a small daily inpatient fee for the first 10 days. There’s no inpatient fee for children under 18, pregnancy/childbirth and intensive care services.
You can often pay extra for an upgrade to a private room – these types of costs are usually covered by comprehensive travel insurance, not the EHIC.
Dentists: Only emergency dental treatment (e.g., abscess, tooth removal) is free. No charge for dental treatment for under 19s. Charges are non-refundable in Estonia, but you may be able to claim back in the UK.
Ambulance: Emergency transport is free.
Some medicines that are readily available from the corner shop in the UK, e.g., Aspirin, are only available in pharmacies in Estonia. There’s a standard charge for prescriptions, with discounts on some medicines for EHIC card holders. If your medicine isn’t on the list of approved drugs, you’ll have to pay full price.