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Health Service

Hungary - Health Service

The health service in Hungary is well-established and subsidized for all citizens. It is also possible for expats to receive free medical care while in the country. In addition, expats have access to many private hospitals in the country.

The Hungarian healthcare system is regulated by the Health Insurance Fund (HIF). HIF took this role from the Hungarian government and has been responsible for taking care of healthcare costs to date. The government of Hungary will only intervene financially where the HIF falls short in funding. This will normally be a contribution to the capital costs of healthcare.

HIF collects its funding from health and income taxation of Hungarian taxpayers. Employees in Hungary are required to contribute three percent of their salary to health care insurance. Employers, on the other hand, are required to contribute 15 percent of the gross income of each employee. International workers who receive a social security number while based in Hungary will also be taxed for health insurance coverage.

Taxation on income also helps fund the healthcare system. Minor payments made at pharmacies or dental units contribute to the system. In total, about 18 percent of healthcare funding in Hungary comes from taxation alone.

Free Healthcare

All state hospitals in Hungary provide free medical treatment to native citizens. In addition to this, EU citizens and expats who work for Hungarian companies are also allowed access to free healthcare while in Hungary. Thanks to a pact the UK signed with Hungary, British nationals can also claim free healthcare. Migrants who do not work for Hungarian companies qualify for some free healthcare, but only during emergencies or when a patient’s condition escalates.

Both public and private hospitals are required to admit all emergency cases without charging the patient. Ambulance services are free as well for both Hungarian people and EU citizens. Expats can also receive free ambulant care if they hold a social security number from Hungary or a Health Insurance Card from the EU.

Hungarian Hospitals And Clinics

Any hospital or clinic that opens in Hungary must be approved by the government. All doctors practicing in the country are also required to be registered by the chamber of medicine, where they will get their license. Any health institution that does not follow the regulations should be treated with caution or avoided altogether.

Hungarian hospitals are identified by a white cross enclosed in a blue background. Hospitals are often crowded with both in and outpatients. Although there are enough doctors to treat all patients, it is still a good idea to make an appointment. This saves time and means you can avoid long queues. However, in emergencies, patients can see a doctor without an appointment.

Hungarian clinics are managed and run by general practitioners. They are well stocked with equipment and trained medics, but only tend to minor medical cases. If your health concern is not major, it is best to seek treatment in clinics, as they are less crowded and offer good quality care.

Pharmacies And Medication

Pharmacies serve medication that meets the standards of Western hospitals. You can find a pharmacy in almost any corner of the country, whether you are in rural areas or the city. These are identified by a green cross or the emblem of a snake encircling a cup. Buying medication from a pharmacy is straightforward, especially for non-prescription drugs such as painkillers. However, expats should be aware that Hungarian pharmacies will not accept any prescriptions from abroad. You will have to get a new prescription from a hospital in Hungary.

It is also possible to buy non-prescription drugs from supermarkets or drug-stores at a petrol station. If you are worried about the authenticity of your medication, stick to trusted and reliable pharmacies. Expats who will be traveling a lot around Hungary should make a point of carrying their own medication. This means you are safe even if you can’t find a nearby hospital, clinic, or pharmacy during your travels. Hungary allows expats to bring their prescription drugs into the country.

Paying For Medication

Migrants are advised to apply for travel insurance before traveling to Hungary. This will help cover any non-emergency medical expenses you are likely to incur. If you hold a Hungarian Social Security Card or the EU health card, part of your medical expenses will be covered by HIF or the Hungarian government. It is also a good idea to have travel insurance to cater for any additional medical bills.

Expats who have health cover from their own country can still use it while in Hungary. It is likely that your health insurance company will reimburse you the amount the treatment would cost in your own country. Where medical expenses may exceed your insurance limit, the Hungarian government may offer to pay for the remainder if your case is an emergency.

You can also apply for health insurance when in Hungary. This especially applies if you intend to stay in the country for a while or permanently. Hungarian health insurance cover caters for inpatient and outpatient as well as ambulance cover. This health insurance coverage will also cater for secondary medical expenses, for example when the patient is transferred to a more advanced hospital for further treatment.


Travelers are required to be vaccinated against influenza and Hepatitis A before entering Hungary. You will be required to produce a vaccination card while checking at the airport. If you do not have one, the airport has control facilities where you can be vaccinated.

Hotline Numbers

The official ambulance hotline in Hungary is 104. The police and fire brigade hotlines are 107 and 105 respectively. You can also find numbers for doctors, specialists, or hospitals from the yellow pages or Arany Oldalak.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.