Health in Cyprus
Medical care is provided by the government medical services and the private medical sector. The government medical services can be used by anyone who chooses to be treated at a public medical institution.
The government medical services provide treatment free of charge or at reduced charges for certain groups of individuals. More information can be obtained from the Ministry of Health.
Emergency care is provided free to all persons who arrive at the accident and emergency departments of the government hospitals. Every city has its own hospital with an accident and emergency department
Persons who opt for the private sector pay the costs themselves. Certain population groups are covered by trade union or employer insurance funds which provide full or partial cover of medical costs for the members. Many doctors run their own private surgeries. In addition many doctors work at city health centres which provide a wide range of medical services in all specialities (including dentistry and optometry) and other relevant services such as laboratory analysis, radiology and chiropody, etc.
All districts now have a new hospital, most recently the Nicosia district. Tertiary medicine, in particular, has undergone substantial development in recent years, and as a result patients who used to be sent abroad for treatment are now being treated in Cyprus. The size of the country makes for easy and swift access to medical centres.
European citizens residing temporarily in Cyprus are entitled to receive essential medical care in State hospitals provided they hold the European Health Insurance Card. The members of the family of the holder of the Card are similarly entitled.
Useful information can be obtained from the Ministry of Health website or by telephoning the Ministry of Health (+357 22 400 130 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +357 22 400 130 end_of_the_skype_highlighting) or from the Department for the Free Movement of Patients (Tel. +357 22 400 115 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +357 22 400 115 end_of_the_skype_highlighting) and the Department for General Coordination of EU Affairs at the Ministry (Tel. +357 22 400 195 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +357 22 400 195 end_of_the_skype_highlighting). Useful telephone numbers: First Aid 112, Nicosia General Hospital +357 22 603000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +357 22 603000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Limassol General Hospital +357 25 30 53 33 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +357 25 30 53 33 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Larnaca Hospital +357 24 800500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +357 24 800500 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Paphos General Hospital +357 26 80 31 00 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +357 26 80 31 00 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. There are also a number of rural hospitals and health centres (details can be found on the Ministry of Health website).
Health in North Cyprus:
North Cyprus operates a fairly modern state run healthcare system, albeit still a little behind the times in places. However, it is perfectly acceptable for the majority of the population, although expatriates may also prefer to have the addition of private health insurance if they can afford it.
First things first, and that is North Cyprus is at present not a member of the EU, and therefore the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will not be valid at any medical facility here, whether state or private.
North Cyprus has 4 general hospitals in Kyrenia, Lefkoşa, Güzelyurt and Famagusta – they are all well-equipped hospitals with modern facilities and equipment, as well as accident and emergency departments. The service and care the hospitals offer is at times a welcome break from the slow and sometimes mediocre healthcare systems in the rest of Europe, and the hospitals on the island are more than capable of dealing with any number of illnesses and emergency situations. You will often find that people’s experiences of treatment are positive and that they are full of praise for the hospital staff’s speed and professionalism.
If you require emergency treatment in North Cyprus then you will never be refused at a state hospital, often with no cost to yourself. However, this is not an ideal situation for an already under funded healthcare system, but nevertheless this is the way the system works at present.
State Healthcare in North CyprusIf you do require a hospital stay however, then you will be charged by the hospital and rates are calculated on a daily basis. It is also worth noting that a patient is basically reliant on visitors and family and/or appointed carers to provide them with general care, such as cleaning and replenishment of clothing as this is not provided by the state hospital system in Northern Cyprus. Nowadays a private company is sub-contracted to perform all non-medical tasks such as cleaning, washing of hospital bedding and also security.
If you are working and have a valid North Cyprus work permit, you will be paying into the state system by way of social security and pension contributions, thus entitling you to free healthcare by the state. You will be provided with a medical card, requiring re-certifying every 6 months at your local social security office, and this will entitle you to completely free medical care at all state run hospitals. It is also worth noting that a medical card can be used at high street pharmacies to obtain lower prices for certain prescription medicines. For residents over the age of 65 living in the Kyrenia region, whether they be Cypriot or foreigners (who are holding a valid residency permit), a free ‘home health check up’ service is also available from the local council. For more information telephone +90 (0)392 815 2118 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +90 (0)392 815 2118 end_of_the_skype_highlighting .
State hospitals also provide services such as blood donation, although the system of supplying and obtaining blood is a sometimes stressful situation. Each state run hospital keeps a supply of blood readily available for emergency purposes; however there is a larger blood bank which holds the main supply at the Lefkoşa hospital. If blood is State Healthcare in North Cyprusrequired for a scheduled operation or for long term treatment then you are required to return the blood via donations from yourself and perhaps your friends and family to balance the amount you took. It is therefore very obvious that hospitals require a constant source of donated blood and rely heavily on donations!
Lefkoşa hospital is also an important centre for Thalassemia sufferers – this is a genetic blood disease prevalent in the Mediterranean – who need to attend for regular blood transfusions.
All in all the state run hospital system is adequate, pretty modern, but at the same time it needs further investment to be able to cope with the natural increase in population. Some would still say that it is more than equivalent to current European standards, and from our own experiences we would tend to agree.
Useful contact numbers are: -
Ambulance – 112
Kyrenia Hospital – +90 392 815 2266 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +90 392 815 2266 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Lefkoşa Hospital – +90 392 228 5441 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +90 392 228 5441 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Famagusta Hospital – +90 392 366 2876 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +90 392 366 2876 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Güzelyurt Hospital – +90 392 714 2125 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +90 392 714 2125 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Health Care Advice from 8am to 11pm – +90 (0)392 815 4929 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +90 (0)392 815 4929 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or +90 (0)542 886 2955 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +90 (0)542 886 2955 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Please visit our article on emergency healthcare and pharmacies in North Cyprus for more general information, or alternatively visit our North Cyprus Healthcare section for more articles on the various options available such as private healthcare and alternative healthcare for example.