Health and safety

HEALTH INSURANCE
 
EU/EAA citizens
EU/EEA citizens have the right to recieve medical treatment in case of emergency or unexpected illness on the basis of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that you need to apply for from the social service authorities in your home country before arriving in Estonia. To be eligible for an EHIC, you must be insured by or covered by a state social security system in any member state of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you cannot get the EHIC for the reasons described above, please check if any of the private health insurances listed below meets your expectations/needs. You should not be without any health insurance!
NB! EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property. More information about what is covered with EHIC in Estonia can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/social/home.jsp?langId=en > Healthcare Abroad > Medical Treatment Abroad > Estonia.
NB! EU and EEA students studying in Estonia for a degree are not covered by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, unless they are employed in Estonia or have the right of permanent residence, so they can obtain the EHIC only if they are covered by the social security system of their home country.
 
Non-EU/EAA citizens 
Students from Non-EU/EEA countries have to obtain internationally valid private health insurance. There is a strict policy in Estonia what obtained health insurance must cover and it is checked when the student applies for the residence permit. Please make sure that the following conditions are met and clearly stated:

• Students must obtain a health insurance that clearly states the validity period and area of the policy. It must clearly state that the policy is valid in Estonia.
• The health insurance policy must state very explicitly that any costs related to students’ medical treatment as a result of illness or injury during the period of validity of the residence permit applied for will be met.
• There can be no reference to the fact that insurance is guaranteed in case of unavoidable medical treatment. A travel agreement is not acceptable.
Such health insurance policy guarantees that all necessary needs are met and students will avoid double costs. The purpose of health insurance in Estonia is to cover the costs of health services provided to insured persons, prevent and cure diseases, finance the purchase of medical products and medical technical aids, and provide the benefits for temporary incapacity for work and other benefits.
The Estonian Migration Board has confirmed that the following insurance companies are accepted for obtaining health insurance:
 
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
 
Family physician
All people with health insurance have the right to visit a family physician who is the first contact person in case of illness. The family physician has the right to forward you to specialising medical institutions or consultations upon the seriousness of the given health problem. With the European Health Insurance Card, family physician visits and most of the services are free of charge. You should definitely call beforehand and to make an appointment prior to the visit.
For more information on family physician, see the website of Estonian Health Insurance Fund. You can search for family physician here (in Estonian). In order to use services of a physician you need to find out if he/she has free places (just type the name of the chosen practitioner) and register for the visit by going to the place and filing in a form and booking the time. As the information is in Estonian, ask your buddy to help you when choosing and signing up with a family physician In case the doctor does not speak English, you could also ask your buddy to come with you to the appointment. Do not forget to take your EHIC or private health insurance documents with you.

We advise you to choose a physician right after your arrival and register to be their patient. Thus, in case of illness, you will be able to make an appointment by phone. Visit to a family practitioner is free of charge, but a family practitioner can charge a visit fee of up to 5 EUR when making a home visit.

Some contacts of family physicians in Tartu who speak English
Dr Tiiu Tootsi
Location: Maarjamõisa Polyclinic (Puusepa 1a, Tartu)
Contact: +372 745 5187 or info@perearsttiiutootsi.ee
 
Dr Liina Pilv
Location: Tasku Medical Centre (Turu 2, Tartu)
Contact: +372 744 1603 or pereode@doktorpilv.eu
 
Dr Kertu Rünkorg
Location: Maarjamõisa Polyclinic (Puusepa 1a, Tartu)
Contact: +372 588 65560 or perearst.runkorg@gmail.com
 
 
Medical specialist
You need a referral from the family physician to visit a medical specialist. No referral is needed to visit an ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, dermato-venerologist, dentist, physiotherapist, and gynaecologist, pulmonologist (for tuberculosis treatment); infection specialist (for HIV/AIDS treatment) surgeon or orthopaedist (for traumatology). It is advisable to choose all the specialists through the family practitioner or the medical advisors. Usually specialists have consultations in the polyclinics and there is a few-week waiting line. In private clinics waiting lines are rather short. 
 
Emergency treatment
In case of emergency, a person may always go to the emergency reception (Maarjamõisa hospital: L. Puusepa 8, Section G1) or call an ambulance. One can reach an ambulance by calling 112 from all over Estonia. Ambulance service or unavoidable medical aid in case of emergency is free of charge. The attending physician decides whether the patient needs in-patient treatment. The accident ward and the emergency medical service unit are open 24h and one may seek help from them especially at weekends and at night time when family physician are off duty. 
There is also 24-hour medical telephone counselling, call 1220. (The service is guaranteed in Estonian and Russian.)
 
Dentists
Adult dental care is not covered by national health care in Estonia. A regular visit may cost from 30€ upwards depending on the given problem.
 
Some dental care providers in Tartu
CityDental - student discount -15%
Ülikooli 4, phone number +372 7 333 474; +372 58 198 112
Stomatology Clinic of Tartu University (website in Estonian)
Raekoja Square 6, Phones: +372 7441726; +372 7434209; +372 7319457

Kaarsilla Hambaravi (website in Estonian)
Vabaduse str 2-1, phone +372 7441878

 
E-hambaravi (in English) - discounts for ISIC/ITIC card holders
Näituse 22, 1st floor, phone +372 7366 215

Pharmacies
Usually the pharmacist can assist with simple medical problems. Most of the drugs are issued upon medical prescription written by a doctor. There are some painkillers, antacids, ointments and other simple drugs available without a prescription.
24-hour pharmacy is located on the town hall sqare of Tartu, in the building of the Town Hall. Phones: +372 742 3560, +372 744 2277