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Cyprus

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS. This means you may have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will enable you to access public healthcare provided in Cyprus at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment until you return to the UK. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth.

Note: You may be asked to present your passport or another travel document as proof of identity.

Neither your EHIC nor S1 form (a certificate of entitlement) is valid in the parts of the Republic of Cyprus where the government of the republic does not exercise effective control (the northern part of Cyprus). You are strongly advised to take out private health insurance before travelling to this part of the country.

Non-EEA nationals are covered for emergency treatment only, and you will have to pay for inpatient treatment.

Find help in emergencies

If you find yourself in a serious or life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance, the police or the fire brigade, dial 112. Calls are free of charge from any phone, including mobile phones. Operators in Cyprus speak English. If you do not know your location, they are able to geo-locate you.

Other important numbers to note down:

  • 1441 – air/sea rescue
  • 1401 – drugs, narcotics and poison emergencies
  • 1400 – hospital information
  • 90 90 1432 – on-call doctors

Useful emergency words:

  • help – voithia
  • look out – prosekse
  • ambulance – asthenoforo
  • doctor – yiatros
  • police – astinomia
  • fire – fotia
  • firemen – pyrosvestes
  • do you speak English? – milate anglika?

Health services and costs

Your EHIC does not cover private treatment. Ensure you are treated by a state healthcare provider. You should be particularly careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are non-refundable.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by you or your insurance company to apply for any refund or reimbursement.

If you move to Cyprus long-term or plan to work in the country, you'll have to apply for a residence permit (yellow slip) through the local immigration office of the Ministry of Interior Republic of Cyprus using form MEU1A.

Once you are registered, you'll be entitled to state-run healthcare and can apply for your Cypriot medical card (PDF, 568kb).

Since 2013, small charges have been introduced for treatment for the majority of Cypriot citizens and permanent residents. Charges include €3 for a visit to a general practitioner, €6 for a visit to a specialist, and €0.50 for each prescribed medication.

For those who do not hold a medical card, some charges will be higher: €15 for a visit to a general practitioner and €30 for a visit to a specialist. There is also a fee of €10 for emergency treatment in an accident and emergency unit, although this does not apply to pensioners. Under EU law, this exemption also applies to those receiving a pension from other EU or EEA countries.

For more details about the changes, visit the Cypriot Ministry of Health website.

Hospital treatment

Just like in the UK, you'll need to be referred by a doctor for any non-emergency hospital treatment. When you're admitted to hospital, you'll need to present either a valid EHIC or your Cypriot medical card to receive treatment at the same costs as a resident.

The Ministry of Health provides a list of public hospitals, including phone numbers

 

Prescriptions

Typically, pharmacies in Cyprus open from 9am until noon, close for a few hours and reopen from 3pm to 6pm or 7pm. Some may not open at all in the middle of the week.

The following is a list of 24-hour pharmacies according to region:

  • Ammochostos – telephone 90 90 1413
  • Larnaca – telephone 90 90 1414
  • Limassol – telephone 90 90 1415
  • Nicosia – telephone 90 90 1412
  • Paphos – telephone 90 90 1416

Bringing your own medicines to Cyprus

If you have a condition that requires you to bring your own medicines to Cyprus, you should have a letter from your GP stating what the medicines are and why you need them. If possible, have the letter translated into Greek (or Turkish for northern Cyprus), as this will also be useful in case you need to see a health professional during your stay.

If any of your medicines fall into the controlled drugs category, you need to comply with regulations on drugs exports in the UK.

Foreign prescriptions are not officially recognised in Cyprus and some pharmacists may refuse to accept them, although it is possible that some will. In cases where prescriptions are not accepted, book an appointment with a local doctor.

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

Although your EHIC covers the provision of oxygen, renal dialysis and routine medical care, you'll have to arrange and pre-book medical treatment before you go abroad. You should always consult your GP or hospital before travelling. Also ensure you are not booked with a private healthcare provider, as this is not covered by the EHIC.

Download the guide Accessible Cyprus: information for visitors with special health needs (PDF, 1.20Mb)

Oxygen therapy

Ensure your EHIC is valid before you travel. In most cases you will have to use the authorised oxygen company for the country you are travelling to. You'll also have to make your own arrangements, including arranging for permission from your hotel to deliver and install the equipment. There may also be additional costs the EHIC will not cover.

Your home oxygen supplier is not required to provide a service outside the UK, but most suppliers will be able to advise you on what to do. Your oxygen treatment clinic will organise your home oxygen supply from one of these suppliers:

Air Liquide: Call them on:

  • 0808 143 9991 for London
  • 0808 143 9992 for the north west
  • 0808 143 9993 for the East Midlands
  • 0808 143 9999 for the south west

Baywater Healthcare: covers Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands and Wales. Call them on 0800 373 580. For more information, visit the Baywater Healthcare website.

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) may have additional oxygen contacts for the country you are travelling to. Their website offers general advice about how to make travel arrangements, including advice on:

Ensure you allow plenty of time to make all your arrangements before you travel.

Dialysis

You should speak to the co-ordinator in your UK dialysis unit before you travel. They will contact the dialysis unit in Cyprus nearest to where you will be staying. The provision of dialysis will be subject to availability in Cyprus. The Renal Association website has a list of renal units in the UK.

Ensure you make your arrangements according to your UK schedule. There also may be different guidance depending on what type of dialysis you receive. Make sure you speak to your doctor before you travel. In addition, visit the National Kidney Federation website, which offers general advice about travelling with a kidney disease, as well as specific guidance for haemodialysis patients, peritoneal dialysis patients and guidelines for transplant patients.

Any other specialist treatment

If you need to receive any other specialist treatment, such as chemotherapy or other prescriptions, again it may be advisable to make arrangements for this in advance of your trip. Certain parts of Cyprus receive a large number of long-term visitors each year, which can mean a high demand for certain services. Although you are not obliged to make arrangements for treatment in advance of your trip, not doing so may result in delays when you need to access treatment.

Living in Cyprus

If you move to Cyprus long term or plan to work in the country, you'll have to apply for a residence permit (yellow slip) through the local immigration office of the Ministry of Interior Republic of Cyprus using form MEU1A.

Once you are registered, you'll be entitled to state-run healthcare and can apply for your Cypriot medical card.

If you are a worker seconded to Cyprus or the family member of someone making UK National Insurance contributions, your employer should contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for the following forms:

  • A1 – this will show that National Insurance contributions are paid in the UK
  • S1 – this will give you and your family the same medical cover as Cypriot residents

Note: Ensure that you mention relevant family members and dependants when you submit the forms.

National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AN
United Kingdom

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3506
  • Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010
  • Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday - closed weekends and bank holidays

Studying in Cyprus

If you are coming to study or are currently studying in Cyprus as part of a UK-recognised course, you may be entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK government.

Pensioners

If you are living in Cyprus and you receive a UK State Pension or any other benefit that can be paid to you when you move abroad (exportable benefit), you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You'll need to apply for form S1 (a certificate of entitlement) from the International Pension Centre (telephone 0191 218 7777).

Once you have registered your S1 in Cyprus, you will be entitled to apply for and use a UK-issued EHIC to access state-funded necessary medical treatment when you visit other EEA countries outside Cyprus, including when you return to the UK.

Early retirees

Since July 1 2014 you are no longer able to apply for the residual S1 form. If you already have a residual S1, this will not affect you – it will continue to be valid until its original expiry date.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides useful information about what UK and Cypriot benefits are available to Britons living in Cyprus.

Download the Living in Cyprus checklist for British citizens leaflet (PDF, 411kb)

 

 

 


Last Updated: 01/04/2017 09:00:00
The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk