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Hungary

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 Hungary 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 the treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, providing the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth.

If you don't have your EHIC with you or you've lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

Get the EHIC smartphone app

The European Commission has developed a useful multi-language free phone app, which explains how to use the EHIC card in different countries within the EU. It summarises the treatments, costs, procedure for reimbursement and emergency numbers.

If you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, please see our section about seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Find help in emergencies

In case you find yourself in an emergency during your stay in Hungary, dial 112. Emergency services are free of charge. Other important numbers to note down are:

  • 104 – ambulance
  • 105 – fire service
  • 107 – police
  • (20) 900 0107 – Police – SMS service for the deaf (Budapest)
  • (40) 374 636 – 24/7 health advice provided by Dr Info. This is an internet and call centre-based service providing health care information for citizens. The service is provided in Hungarian only.

Health services and costs

Your EHIC does not cover private treatment. Ensure you are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with the Hungarian National Health Insurance Fund (Országos Egészségpénztár Penztar, or OEP).

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.

Health providers who are working under the state healthcare scheme generally display a sign with the following inscription: "a társadalombiztosítás egészségügyi szolgáltatásaira szerzodött szolgáltató".

Contact OEP for more advice before you travel. Call 0036 1 350 2001 from the UK. The OEP website offers some information, but only in Hungarian. Alternatively, download the guide: Health care services available during temporary stay in Hungary (PDF, 110kb).

If you move to Hungary long term (more than three months) or plan to work in the country, you'll have to register with the OEP to obtain your national health insurance card  (TAJ kártya) and a health insurance number (TAJ szám). You will have to present your TAJ kártya whenever you visit a doctor, dentist or specialist.

Doctors (háziorvos)

Doctors surgeries are open from Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm. After 6pm on workdays, weekends and holidays, 24-hour medical services are provided by various health centres. If you speak Hungarian, then the Ministry of Health’s information portal Dr.Info will provide 24/7 healthcare advice.

Dentists

Ensure you see a dentist registered with the OEP. A list of dental services provided by OEP dentists is available in the guide: Health care services available during temporary stay in Hungary (PDF, 110kb).

Hospital treatment

Just like in the UK, you'll need to be referred by a doctor for any hospital treatment. Make sure you are referred to a public hospital, as only these provide treatment free of charge. Even in a public hospital, ensure you have a valid EHIC and double-check you are not treated as a private patient.

During your stay in hospital, operations, diagnostic tests and medicines are provided free of charge.

Prescriptions

A prescription should be issued by a doctor who practices within the OEP. Take your prescription and your EHIC to the pharmacist. You’ll have to make a patient co-payment for prescriptions that are not refundable. Co-payments vary, depending on the type of medicines prescribed.

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 travel. You should always consult your GP or hospital before travelling. Also ensure that you are not booked with a private healthcare provider, as these are not covered by the EHIC.

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 that the EHIC will not cover.

Your home oxygen supplier is not required to provide a service outside the UK; however, most suppliers can 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 North West
  • 0808 143 9993 for East Midlands
  • 0808 143 9999 for 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:

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

Dialysis

You will need to speak to the co-ordinator in your UK Dialysis Unit, who will contact the dialysis unit in Hungary nearest to where you will be staying. You can look up UK renal units on The Renal Association website.

Ensure you make arrangements according to your UK schedule. There may be different guidance, depending on what type of dialysis you receive. Make sure you speak to your doctor before you travel. The National Kidney Federation website 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.

Living in Hungary

Everyone who is eligible for health insurance in Hungary is registered with the Hungarian Health Insurance Fund (OEP). Once you are registered with the relevant authorities, you are entitled to necessary medical treatment and you'll have to pay the same patient contributions as a permanent resident of Hungary.

The OEP website offers some information, but only in Hungarian. Alternatively, you can find information about immigration on the Office of Immigration and Nationality website.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also provides useful information about Living in Hungary.

 

If you are a worker seconded to Hungary 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 (previously E106 or E109) – this will give you and your family the same medical cover as residents of Hungary

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

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

Once issued, register the S1 form with the OEP before you register with your local GP surgery.

Pensioners

If you are living in Hungary 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 on 0191 218 7777. Once issued, register the S1 form with the OEP before you register with your local GP surgery.

Once you have registered your S1 in Hungary, 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 Hungary, including when you return to the UK.

Early retirees

Since July 1 2014, you are no longer able to apply for a 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.

 


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