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Healthcare in Slovakia

As with many post-communist countries, the standards of general healthcare in Slovakia are average at best, although basic healthcare is provided free to all Slovakian nationals and long term residents. Some services, such as dental treatment and prescriptions drugs are only partly state subsidized and patients must make a contribution. There are a total of 44 state hospitals in Slovakia, serving a population of 5½ million, and funding has been a major problem in the past.

Private healthcare is rarely used by the general public in Slovakia, although medical tourism is a growing industry. Although all doctors work in private practice, the bulk of their work is paid for through the compulsory state medical insurance. Wealthier patients may top up this contribution to improve or speed up their care, or to purchase care that is not covered by the government insurance, such as cosmetic surgery.

Healthcare for medical tourists

Slovakia has responded to the healthcare tourism market with some high quality facilities aimed squarely at the pockets of visitors who come seeking low cost cosmetic surgery and dentistry.

Healthcare tourism tends to be centred on Slovakia’s many natural spas, many with unique thermal or mineral properties. The most popular of these is Piestany, the biggest spa in Slovakia, where around half of the 50,000 annual visitors are healthcare tourists. While the focus at these centres tends to be more of a general ‘wellness’ spa concept, clinics for plastic surgery and dentistry are also drawn to the area to combine modern medicine with traditional rest and rejuvenation.

High quality, low cost clinics are also available for overseas patients in the major cities, such as Bratislave, Kosice and Banska Bystrica, where you will find modern facilities and well qualified, English speaking staff.

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