Emergency medical care in an EU/EEA country and Switzerland


Are you going on a holiday or business trip to an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland?

Before you travel…

  • Contact your social security service and apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
  • Find out about your rights to health cover for temporary stays in the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
  • Find out about the existence of national contact points (NCP) for cross-border healthcare in the EU/EEA member states. The NCPs provide important information on national health systems and health services in the member states and your related rights.
  • Make sure you always have a translated medical history with you, in case you are taking specific medication or have a pre-existing serious health condition.
  • If you have a chronic illness and need specific care (e.g. chemotherapy, oxygen therapy, hemodialysis, high cost medicines) during your temporary stay in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, medical care should be the subject of prior agreement/consultation with the healthcare provider in the state of treatment to ensure that care is available during your stay in the member state using your EHIC. The national contact point of the country you are visiting can help you.

When in need of healthcare while visiting an EU/EEA country or Switzerland…

  • Call the European helpline 112 if you need emergency services, such as an ambulance, rescue assistance, etc. The helpline 112 operates in all the EU member states along with national emergency helplines.
  • Make sure you always have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you and an identification document such as an id card or passport.
  • When in need for health services, make sure that the healthcare provider is public or contracted with the public health system of the country you are visiting and your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be accepted. Otherwise, you may have to pay. Find out more about going to a doctor/hospital abroad here.
  • Find out about the cost of care, which will be covered by presenting the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and any co-payment fee, which you will have to pay yourself.
  • In case you pay for the care you received without using  your EHIC, make sure you have a doctor’s referral with the diagnosis and detailed payment receipts for the services provided.
  • Keep track of all medical procedures, diagnostic tests and treatment results you receive from a healthcare professional abroad in order to update your medical file and ensure continuity of healthcare.

After your return home …

Contact your statutory health insurance service and find out about possible reimbursement rights for the healthcare costs you had to pay.

Read more…


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Last Update: 17 December 2021
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