Hi, it’s Anya! How did I find an English/Ukrainian speaking doctor?

After the first steps of adapting to the new country, finding a job and accommodation, I had another important question – how to find a doctor who speaks a language I can understand?

In the Czech Republic, it is possible to get a state insurance VZP for Ukrainians altogether with a temporary protection visa. However, this insurance only entitles you to see the doctors in clinics co-operating with VZP. These can be either public or private clinics. Most doctors there don’t speak a language that Ukrainians can understand – Ukrainian, Russian or English. Therefore, in this article, I would like to share a list of useful tips for finding a doctor who speaks the required language.

How does the Czech health care system work?

Every person must be registered with a general practitioner. In the Czech Republic, men and women go to a general practitioner for regular preventive check-ups. In the case of compulsory health insurance, these check-ups are covered by the insurance.

If necessary, your general practitioner will refer you to a specialist (e.g., neurologist, urologist, nutritionist). You can go to some specialists without a referral from a general practitioner (e.g., dentist, gynecologist, dermatologist). Children undergo medical examinations by a pediatrician. To see the specialist doctors, you always need to arrange an appointment. However, the doctors may not be able to see you due to lack of availability.

If you have an unexpected health problem that is not life-threatening, you can go to an emergency room. These types of emergency facilities are also available for children.

You should only go to the emergency point when your usual doctor is not available i.e., in the evening or on the weekends. Emergency clinics are usually located in hospitals and when you decide to go there, you must pay a fee for the service.

Finding a doctor without an insurance in the Czech Republic

After the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Czech Republic created a service called Lékaři pro Ukrajinu. It offers a large number of registered doctors of various specializations who provide free medical care to refugees from Ukraine, even to those who don’t have an insurance in the Czech Republic. The website is available in Russian, Ukrainian, English and Czech. What do I like about it? Convenient search engine that lets you choose the region, doctor’s specialization and their language skills.

You can also use free medical counselling for refugees from Ukraine – U Lékaře. You just need to fill in some information regarding your problem in an online form, then the doctor responds to your request via e-mail, and a nurse helps you to make an appointment.

Finding a doctor with an insurance in the Czech Republic

If you already have a VZP insurance, I suggest trying this website for finding the right doctor – Známý lékař. It is only available in Czech, but the site offers many useful filters for choosing a specialist: choice of a medical profile, language of communication, method of payment, doctor for an adult or a pediatrician, and so on. The site also features an online appointment as well as online consultation. 

In order to provide medical assistance to refugees from Ukraine, the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic has established a network of centers called UA POINT at all clinical hospitals. The purpose of these points is to ensure the continuity of medical services to people from Ukraine who can’t be served by the primary care network. They provide emergency medical care to adults and kids from Ukraine. An interpreter is also available on site if needed.

Ukrainian Community Map UMapa has a visual display of doctors in your area in an interactive format. In most places, you will find some additional information such as specialisation, contacts, schedule and the language skills of the doctor. New places are added every day.

The most important contacts for medical assistance

112 – The universal European Emergency Number which will connect you to police, fire and ambulance services. This number can even be called from a mobile phone without credit or a SIM card. The operator, who can give advice in foreign languages, will be able to determine your present location.

150 – Fire and Rescue Service

155 – Emergency Medical Service

156 – Municipal Police

158 – Police

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