Country profile

The healthcare system in Lithuania

Lithuania has an excellent modern state healthcare system, funded by the government through a national health insurance scheme. All employers must register employees to the scheme, and their family members will then automatically be covered. Disadvantaged groups, such as the elderly and the long term sick, do not have to contribute but are still covered by the scheme.

Healthcare, including emergency treatment, is free at the point of delivery, with the standard system of GP referrals for non-urgent cases. European citizens carrying the EHIC card can get free access to healthcare in Lithuania on production of their card and their passport.

The standard of some local hospitals may still be poor, but this is more than compensated for by the high doctor to patient ratio – one of the best in the world. The city hospitals tend to be far better, and the general standard of healthcare facilities in Lithuania is improving as the government prioritises funding for health. Naturally, the private healthcare facilities, especially those aimed at the medical tourist market, are even better still.

Doctors train for six years and have to undertake at least one year’s internship before they are fully qualified and can specialise. Many medical staff, especially doctors, have trained overseas in the US or Western Europe.

Lithuania is proud of its standard of healthcare, and boasts an infant mortality rate lower than much of Western Europe.

Private healthcare is rare for Lithuanians, with few locals able to afford the cost; however, private clinics for medical tourists are a growing industry in the country. These clinics have to be of the very highest standard to compete, and so have state of the art equipment and highly qualified, multi-lingual staff. Now that Lithuania is part of the European Union, these clinics also have to meet strict EU standards.

Cosmetic surgery is the most popular treatment for visitors to Lithuania, with many also making the trip for low cost dental work (around 80% of Lithuanian dentists are in private practice). Lithuania is also a top centre for cardiology in Eastern Europe.

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