What kind of healthcare is available in Estonia?
Everybody in Estonia has a right to choose a GP. This physician (also called a family doctor) will become your first person to consult when falling ill.
You can find information about general practitioners by calling Health Insurance Fund’s customer information line: 16363. They can help you with finding out which doctors in your area have vacancies in the directory.
You can only register yourself with a GP at a public clinic when you have registered your place of residence in Estonia. You can register with a GP in a private clinic without being an official resident in the country.
To register you must submit an application to the selected clinic (either in person, by mail or e-mail). You must submit a separate form for each family member. It will be reviewed within 7 working days, after which you’ll be notified whether you got accepted to the doctor’s directory. A doctor may decline if their directory is full or if you don’t live in the doctor’s service area. Don’t worry, though – in this case just apply to another clinic.
The advisory line for general practitioners is 1200, and it operates 24 hours a day. Calls are at a standard rate and assistance is provided in Estonian and Russian.
How can I visit a doctor?
If you are insured, visits to the doctor are free. You still have to pay for your prescriptions and tests at a subsidised rate.
Clinics are usually open during business hours from Monday to Friday. You need to book an appointment to see a doctor. The quickest way is to call the clinic’s registration desk. Depending on the urgency of the illness, an appointment will usually be made for the next day or within the following days. When you’re registered with a GP, you only have to bring an ID with you on the day.
GPs in Estonia also make home visits. There is a fee for home visits except for pregnant women and children under two years old.
If your GP refers you to a specialist, the visit will be covered by your health insurance. However, next specialist vacancy can sometimes be weeks away. You can also pay and see a specialist quicker: private specialist visits start from 50 euros.