Guidance

Healthcare in Cyprus

Healthcare information for UK nationals visiting, living in or moving to Cyprus.

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This content was originally published on the NHS website.

Healthcare in Cyprus after Brexit

You should be ready for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there is a no-deal Brexit and you are a UK national visiting or living in Cyprus.

You should review your access to healthcare now. There may be a gap or permanent change in how you access healthcare if there is no deal and no agreements with Cyprus in place.

For example, if you are a current S1 form holder, or a posted worker or student using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you will not be able to rely on these to access your healthcare as you do now.

If you live in Cyprus

You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances and consider:

  • registering to live in Cyprus
  • registering for healthcare under the local rules and legislation of Cyprus
  • buying comprehensive health insurance while you are applying for residency, or if you are not eligible for local schemes

Make sure you have all the right documentation and it is up to date.

If you are eligible for temporary or permanent residence in Cyprus, you must contribute to social insurance and have a medical card or take out private healthcare insurance to be entitled to the same healthcare as Cypriot nationals.

S1 certificate holders

Your S1 certificate may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Cyprus and may mean you have to pay in full for treatment.

Studying in Cyprus after Brexit

Your EHIC may not be valid after exit day if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Cyprus and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

If you’re already studying in Cyprus before the UK leaves the EU, the UK will cover your healthcare costs for the duration of your course.

Students starting courses after the UK leaves the EU should ensure they have comprehensive healthcare cover in place.

Get help paying for medical treatment after Brexit

During the first 6 months after Brexit, if you need medical treatment and you’re being asked to pay for it, the UK can help.

This may be through arrangements with the country you live in, or by paying your healthcare provider directly.

To organise a payment, you’ll need to give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 for more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Using NHS services when visiting the UK

You should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free if you are living in Cyprus and are not currently eligible for a UK-issued S1 form or EHIC.

You should take out appropriate travel insurance when visiting the UK, as you would when visiting any other country.

If you are living in Cyprus before Brexit, you can use NHS services in England, Scotland and Wales without charge after exit day if you:

Returning to the UK permanently

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test you will be able to access NHS care without charge.

European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC)

Your EHIC may not be valid after exit day if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Cyprus and might mean you need to need to pay in full for treatment.

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you’re planning to visit Cyprus.

Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare cover to ensure you can get any treatment you might need.

If you have any pre-existing conditions, talk to your insurer about how to get the right cover, and how this affects your travel.

Your EHIC will be valid until the UK leaves the EU. Your EHIC can also be used to access UK-funded treatment if your visit or treatment started before exit day until you return to the UK.

To organise a payment, you’ll need to give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 for more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Living in Cyprus

This information is for healthcare in Cyprus until the UK leaves the EU. Read this section on healthcare for UK nationals living in Cyprus after Brexit.

Cyprus is changing its health system. Read about the General Healthcare System (GHS) that operates in Cyprus.

Paying for healthcare

Since 2013, small charges have been introduced for treatment for most Cypriot citizens and permanent residents. Charges include:

  • €3 for a visit to a GP
  • €6 for a visit to a specialist
  • €0.50 for each prescribed medication

Some charges will be higher for people who do not hold a medical card:

  • €15 for a visit to a GP
  • €30 for a visit to a specialist

There is also a fee of €10 for emergency treatment in an accident and emergency unit. For more details about the changes, visit the Cypriot Ministry of Health website.

S1 certificate

This information is for healthcare in Cyprus until the UK leaves the EU. Read this section on S1 certificates for UK nationals in Cyprus after Brexit.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Cyprus and receive:

  • an exportable UK State Pension
  • a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance
  • another exportable benefit

You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Cyprus. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:

  • receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension
  • are employed by a UK body or firm (you are a posted or frontier worker)
  • are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

If you receive a UK State Pension, you can apply for your certificate via the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (option 5).

It is possible to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU. It is important to have all the right documentation and that it is up to date.

For other exportable benefits, you may need to contact a different team depending on the exportable benefit.

You can find more information on claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad. Different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

Working in Cyprus

If you move to Cyprus to work, you are required to apply for a residence permit through the local immigration office of the Ministry of Interior Republic of Cyprus using form MEU1A.

Once registered, and if eligible, you can apply for your Cypriot Medical card. The application form and information about the criteria can be found on the Cypriot Ministry of Health Website (PDF, 568kb).

UK posted workers

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Cyprus, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK

You can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs:

Studying in Cyprus

This information is for healthcare in Cyprus until the UK leaves the EU. Read this section on healthcare for UK nationals studying in Cyprus after Brexit.

The government always advises UK citizens to take out comprehensive insurance when going overseas.

Your EHIC is not an alternative to insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad. If you are a UK resident studying in Cyprus, your EHIC will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Read more about healthcare when studying abroad.

For more information about healthcare when living abroad, read the NHS guide on planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

Visiting Cyprus

This information is for healthcare in Cyprus until the UK leaves the EU. Read this section on healthcare for UK nationals visiting Cyprus after Brexit.

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you’re planning to visit Cyprus. The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas.

Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided if you do not have an EHIC.

Your EHIC enables you to access necessary state-provided healthcare in Cyprus at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, if you are staying there temporarily.

Make sure that you are treated by a healthcare provider in the state system. Your EHIC will not cover you for private healthcare.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork.

Pre-existing health conditions

You should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Cyprus if you have a pre-existing health condition.

You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, so that you can get the cover you need.

The Money and Pensions Advice Service has information about buying travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel. Take any documents about your health condition or medicine with you.

If you are travelling to have planned medical treatment, read the NHS guidance on seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Healthcare services in Cyprus

Finding help in an emergency

If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance, the police or the fire brigade, dial 112. Calls are free of charge.

Hospitals

You need to be referred by a doctor for any specialist treatment.

You’ll need to present a valid EHIC when you’re admitted to hospital, to receive treatment at the same cost as a resident.

The Ministry of Health provides a list of state hospitals, including phone numbers.

Prescriptions

If you do not have a Cypriot medical card or alternative means of cover you will be charged the full cost of a prescription.

Pharmacies in Cyprus open from 9am until noon, close for a few hours and reopen from 3pm to 6pm or 7pm. Some may not open at all in the middle of the week.

Bringing your own medicines to Cyprus

Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK. This means that additional legal controls apply to these medicines.

You may need a personal licence to take controlled medicines abroad. Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information that you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

Read more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

Published 23 September 2019