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Estonia - Health Service
Everyone in Estonia has the right to receive medical care in case of emergency, even if they are not covered by the national health service. Emergency rooms are located at hospitals. The emergency number for ambulance, police and fire rescue is 112. For non-emergency minor health issues, you can call the General Practice (GP) advisory line on 1220, which is operational 24 hours a day.
There are some groups of people who are automatically covered by the Estonian health insurance. These are:
• Pregnant women
• Children and young adults (up to the age of 19)
Every Estonian resident has a right to choose their GP (Pere Arts). You can register with a doctor by calling the Health Board of Estonia (Terviseamet) on (+372) 650 984. They will be able to assist you in finding out which doctors are in your area. Once you have your chosen GP, you need to submit an application form (known as an Avaldus perearsti nimistusse registreerimiseks) to your chosen clinic. This can be done in person, by mail or e-mail. Despite the fact that you can download the forms in English and Estonian, your application must be completed and submitted in Estonian; the English version is for your reference only.
Please also be aware that you are required to submit a separate form for each family member. Your application can take up to seven days to be assessed, and you will receive a notification if you are accepted to the doctor’s directory. If your application is rejected, you will need to select another clinic and repeat the process. For information regarding which clinics and doctors are accepting patients, you can contact the Health Insurance Fund’s line on 16363. Additional information is also available on the Health Board website; an English version is available.
There are 19 main hospitals in Estonia funded by the EHIF. There are also more than 20 private and semi-private clinics and hospitals which have different levels of agreements with the state for providing services. If you choose to go private, you will have much shorter waiting times for seeing specialists and elective medical procedures. All non-emergency treatment in private medical facilities requires payment, so it’s worth checking whether your private health insurance will cover some or all of the costs.
There are no real counselling and psychotherapy organisations that operate in English in Estonia. However, if you require treatment for a mental health condition, then you can get in touch with international organisations such as Transitions Therapy International.
There are many dental clinics in Estonia to choose from; they offer a variety of services from orthodontics to dental surgery. About 90 percent of dental clinics in the country are private, but most have an agreement with the EHIF. From July 2017, adults covered by the health insurance plan could apply for a refund of up to €30 for dental procedures if care was received at one of the dental clinics that have a contract with EHIF. As a general rule, dental treatment (whether emergency or routine) is not covered by the national health insurance, with the exception being for children and young people up to the age of 19.
There are no major health issues affecting the population, and over 54 percent of the people living in Estonia would class themselves as being in very good health. As in the UK, smoking is now banned from inside all pubs, clubs and other public places, but a few establishments still have designated smoking areas inside. Tallinn airport also has several smoking rooms inside after you pass the security checks.
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