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Healthcare in Cyprus

Healthcare in Cyprus

 Who is entitled to free or subsidized medical care?

Cypriot and EU citizens who are permanent residents in Cyprus are entitled to get a hospital card, whether it is completely free will depend on age, employment and income group. For pensioners and people who work and reside in Cyprus with a low income, medical care is free. Depending on how much you earn you will be able to get a hospital card with reduced charges. For those working in Cyprus, Social Insurance contributions are compulsory and how much is paid will depend on salaries earned. People who contribute social security payments are entitled to free or reduced medical care. The Ministry of Health categorizes patients into those who receive treatment free of charge, those who are entitled to reduced fees and those who have to pay the full amount. This is based on income, number of children, pensioners and chronic illnesses.  All the relevant information for applying for a hospital card can be found on the Ministry of Health website http://www.moh.gov.cy

Hospitals in the public sector

All major cities and some of the bigger towns have public hospitals which anyone can turn to in an emergency. In the event of an accident or other emergency everyone except for EU and Cypriot pensioners pay a nominal fee of €10. The general hospitals in major cities are as follows:

  • Famagusta: General - 23 200200
  • Larnaka: Makarios - 24 800500
  • Lemesos: New General - 25 801100
  • Nicosia: New General - 22 603000
  • Nicosia: Makarios - 22 405000
  • Pafos General - 26 803100

The Private Sector

If you prefer to go ‘private’ Cyprus has many excellent private hospitals and clinics in all major cities and some of the bigger towns. Most of them do have emergency and ambulance services, so make sure you are familiar with those close to where you live. If you are not entitled to a hospital card or prefer to avoid delays that are inevitable in the public sector, it is advisable to invest in medical insurance. There are quite a few companies in Cyprus that offer medical insurance through big International names as well as those that offer local medical cover which can be a lot cheaper. Be vigilant when choosing a private healthcare provider, read the fine print and make sure you know exactly what you are covered for. In the event of an emergency make sure your family knows who to contact and how to proceed. Some companies will make you pay up front and then allow you claim, others can be contacted and depending on the policy, pay for everything directly to the doctors and hospital. In comparison to other EU countries, healthcare in Cyprus is relatively inexpensive and definitely a priority if you are not entitle to state care. If you already have healthcare from another country it might be worth your while to check if you are able to extend the cover to include your stay in Cyprus.

Doctors in Cyprus

The majority of specialists and medical practitioners in Cyprus have studied and trained in some of the best universities and hospitals abroad. It is fair to say that in general they all speak English and there should not be a communication problem. The quality of healthcare provided by the trained medical professionals in Cyprus is considered to be of a very high standard, and who you see will depend on recommendations from family and friends or referrals from general practitioners.

Pharmacies in Cyprus

In highly populated areas you will find many pharmacies. Check your local pharmacy to make sure what their opening hours are. Most pharmacies will not accept a prescription from a foreign country, especially for controlled substances. If you are on chronic medication you will have to visit a local doctor to get a new prescription. On Sundays and public holidays there are a few pharmacies open in all areas, you can find one close to you by dialing the following telephone numbers in these areas:

  • Famagusta - 90 901413
  • Larnaka - 90 901414
  • Lemesos - 90 901415
  • Nicosia - 90 901412
  • Pafos - 90 901416

Some Essential Emergency numbers in Cyprus

LOCAL EMERGENCY - 199

AMBULANCE /FIRE /POLICE EMERGENCY NUMBERS: 112

CITIZENS’ HOTLINE TO POLICE: 1460

AIR AND SEA IMMEDIATE RESCUE CO-ORDINATION CENTRE: 1441

FIRE BRIGADE HQ NICOSIA 22 802424

FOREST FIRES 1407

DRUG & POISON CONTROL: 1401

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