How to Croatia – Using a Foreign EHIC to Access Public Croatian Healthcare

5 April 2023 – If you are a citizen of an EU country or a legal resident of an EU country covered by its public healthcare system, you hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In some cases, this card allows you to access certain types of free Croatian healthcare. Here’s how to use it and what it covers.

First things first, an EHIC is intended for temporary stays in other EU countries and is (in most cases) for emergency medical care/unplanned use only.

What does that mean?

You ate some oysters and now all of a sudden you can’t stop, erm… paying a “bath visit”. You decided to climb Biokovo in flip-flops, and when you fell, your ankle changed shape and somehow no longer supports your weight. They went for a relaxing swim in the idyllic Adriatic Sea and stepped on a sea urchin. you get the picture

If you are in any way unbalanced, injured or ill and need medical assistance, your EHIC can give you access to Croatian public health care at a very low cost. How to navigate in it:

find a doctor

You need to find a doctor who has a contract with HZZO (the Croatian Health Insurance Fund) to be treated for whatever your problem is, which of course won’t clear up on its own, but doesn’t necessarily require hospitalization. A contract doctor from the HZZO will treat you on presentation of your EHIC and you often have to pay a symbolic fee in the form of an additional payment of just under 1.50 euros (that’s one euro, fifty cents) is 10 kuna.

Read  Disney Dreamlight Valley: How To Get Emeralds | Rare Material Locations Guide

Medical Emergencies

Your EHIC/HZZO will transport you to the hospital in an emergency.


You will be treated in any Croatian hospital that has a contract with HZZO. These are usually government hospitals. In some cases, hospital treatment through the use of an EHIC is not entirely free and you will have to pay a co-payment for each day of your hospital stay. This additional payment is usually around 13-14 euros per day (approx. 100 kuna). . The good news is that patient fees are capped at just over 260 euros (2000 kuna). You need a referral from a general practitioner (called uputnica in Croatian) to access hospital/specialist treatment.


Unlike some European countries that have socialized healthcare, and the UK is a good example of this being completely different, dentists in Croatia who have contracts with HZZO also treat patients for free or for small co-payments. This also applies to foreign EHIC holders. You can be treated within Croatian healthcare by a dentist who has a contract with HZZO and you only pay the same approximately 1.50 (10 kuna) co-payment for your treatment.


If you need a prescription for medication as you may have been diagnosed with a bacterial infection and therefore need a course of antibiotics, you will need a prescription from a GP through a pharmacy that has an agreement with HZZO. Similar to general practitioners and dentists, you have to pay the symbolic co-payment of 1.50 (10 kuna) per prescription issued.


Croatian citizens and Croatian residents who have HZZO still have to pay co-payments for their treatment in the vast majority of cases, you are not singled out as a foreigner.

Read  Learning how to win: 15 thoughts on Hamilton's 30-27 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks

The Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO) should not be your go-to source for reimbursements. For any reimbursement of costs, you must contact your statutory health insurance company (which issued your EHIC) at home.

If health care in your country is completely free at the point of use, this does not mean that it is provided in Croatia, hence the very small co-payments mentioned earlier. It is not completely free at the point of use for Croatian citizens/residents with HZZO, so not even for a foreign EHIC holder.

For the chronically ill

If you are undergoing cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or need oxygen therapy or dialysis, you can get all of these during your stay in Croatia through your EHIC. You should bring all documentation and records of what treatment you need, why and how much, and you should make an appointment with someone who will be responsible for your treatment in Croatia before you arrive.

They are treated differently than those who simply must use their EHIC to access emergency treatment for cuts, scrapes or a fall from runs. You have access to life-saving treatment here, regardless of your pre-arrival health conditions.

Here you will find an extensive list of hospitals and doctors who have a contract with HZZO and as such treat EHIC holders on the same basis as Croatian nationals/residents who have HZZO insurance.

For a detailed guide to navigating Croatian health insurance if you are moving to Croatia or already living in Croatia, see this article.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button