Hungary has a tax-funded universal healthcare system. Health insurance is free for children, students, pensioners, people with socially challenged background, registered handicapped people (including physical and mental disorders) and for emergency first aid.
Since health care system in Hungary is centrally financed, most of the health care facilities are also centrally maintained. This means, once you have a HIC (Health Insurance Card) you are entitled to use the services of those facilities for free.
There are significant differences in language and culture, and buildings and equipment are in some cases very different from those in other SAC nations. During their assignment to the SAC, most SAC members will receive all or part of their medical care from the local Hungarian health care system.
The city of Pápa provides primary care to its citizens via a number of community based general practitioners and paediatricians.
One paediatrician and one general practitioner in Pápa speak basic medical English and have been providing care for SAC families for over ten years.
Once a week there is a GP on Base for SAC members and their dependents, please see the Community Liaison Office for details.
Community Liaison Office 24/7 Emergency availability off working hours: +36 30 857 5606
Medical Liaison during working hours: +36 30 480 0408
Pápa has one city hospital, the Gróf Esterházy Hospital, which offers basic medical and surgical services. The hospital’s emergency department is open 24 hours.
Very few of the staff speak English.
Petz-Aladár Teaching Hospital is the nearest large medical center and is located in the city of Győr, 50 kilometers north of Pápa.
It has all essential services including a wide range of surgical specialists and pediatric subspecialists, a modern burn unit and neonatal intensive care unit, a level-one Trauma Center with a helicopter landing area, the full spectrum of lab and radiology services, including CT, MRI and Angiography, interventional radiology, a 24-hour cardiac catheterization lab for treating acute myocardial infarction (i.e. heart attacks).
Hungarian Military Hospital of Budapest (Honvéd Kórház).
The SAC has close cooperation with the Military Hospital in Budapest, which is one of the most modern facilites in Hungary.
SAC personnel is entitled to the hospital’s services along with an English-speaking POC who will escort patients to their appointments.
Please contact the Community Liaison Office for further information.
International emergency phone number in Europe:
Community Liaison Office 24/7 Emergency availability off working hours: +36 30 857 5606
Medical Liaison working hours: +36 30 480 0408
Language is often a big issue with medical services, since most Hungarian medical providers do not speak English.
For this reason, the Community Liaison Office provides translation services to the SAC community
free of charge.
The CLO Medical Liaison assists with making appointments, real-time translation during appointments, and obtaining/translating medical reports.
Pápa’s ambulance service is manned all days of the year, at all hours.
An ambulance should respond to any part of the city in under 10 minutes, usually much less. A paramedic or physician rides on all ambulances.
Lifesaving care is provided on the scene, and each patient is rapidly transferred to the nearest appropriate medical center.
Definitive care for emergency victims in Pápa is available within a one-hour radius by ambulance.
If the emergency is such that a few minutes delay is tolerable, the patient should call the Community Liaison Office emergency on-call number (out-of-office-hours).
US HAW/NSE members and their families as well as HAW/NSE members from the Netherlands have private health insurance. US citizens should check the status of their Tricare coverage before coming to Hungary. Immediately upon arrival, US members should contact the HAW medical clinic to enrol in TriCare Prime Remote or TriCare Standard.
Dutch HAW members should contact the Dutch NSE for information about their health care coverage and a one-page form required for medical insurance billing.
All Strategic Airlift Capability Nations, but the US and the Netherlands, have universal health coverage for their citizens provided by their national government.
Members from these nations will be enrolled under the Hungarian health care program.
For enrollment the active duty member should request Form E-106 (some countries now use the Form S1) from the home nation.
The national support element (NSE) or the Senior National Representative (SNR) can provide guidance and assistance about how to request this form.
Registering with Allianz is done by NSPA HR.
As NATO employees, all employees of NSPA (except US reimbursable) must have a mandatory, private health insurance with Allianz.
Its fee is automatically deducted from the salary. This covers health, life, accident insurance. It covers the employee, his/her wife/husband or same-sex registered partner, children. Children under the age of 16 fall under the insurance plan of either parent, children above 16 receive their own insurance plan.
When using medical service, NSPA families cannot hold a valid HIC (TAJ) Card. The service should be paid for on-site. The receipt and the prescription should be saved and be sent back to Allianz for reimbursement.
Further details to be found in the Allianz Welcome Package, to be received when starting the insurance plan.
Health insurance for HAW members is different depending on the member’s nation. Workers of Hungarian employers are insured by the National Health Insurance Fund, by automatically having the insurance fees deducted from their salaries every month.
As a proof of existing health insurance, every patient is provided with a Health Insurance Card (HIC, or TAJ card) and a 9-digit Health Insurance Identification Number.
This card needs to be presented at every appointment (hospitals, family doctors, etc.).
Once the E106 (or S1) is received, the member should make an appointment with the Community Liaison Office Medical Liaison Assistant to fill out the needed paperwork.
The member will need to provide copies of a valid passport and residency card for himself/herself and for each family member in addition to the E106/S1 form.
Once the paperwork is processed by the Hungarian government (usually about 3 weeks) the active duty member and each family member will receive a Hungarian Health Insurance Card.
With this card, the card-holder can access the Hungarian public health care system exactly as any Hungarian citizen.
Please make sure you monitor the expiration date of the card and have it renewed if necessary.
When finishing duty in Pápa all cards have to be handed back to the CLO during outprocessing.
European families arriving to the HAW are also advised to obtain an EU medical insurance card before coming to Hungary.
This will help in getting medical care until the Hungarian card is received.
Norway also offers such cards, even though it is not part of the EU.
When you visit your practitioner, you should always have your
Getting dental care in Hungary, like most places, is a bit different than medical care.
While most medical care is free, the rules for dental care are more complicated – some care is free and some is not. In general, only the first emergency treatment is for free.
Many of the dentists offer the full spectrum of sophisticated dental implant and prosthetic services, in addition to general dentistry services.
Orthodontists are available in both Győr and in the city of Veszprém, 50 kilometers away from Pápa, but generally do not speak English, with some exceptions.
Please contact the CLO Medical Liaison Assistant for further details.
Pharmacies in Hungary are marked with a green cross or the symbol of a snake around a calyx.
Pápa has a large number of private pharmacies. Most medications are available in Hungary, though under different names and by different manufacturers than in other nations.
Narcotic pain medications and amphetamine-like stimulants (such as those used for ADHD) are very difficult to acquire in Hungary. Patients should be prepared for the reality that in Hungary, treatment of pain and hyperactivity disorders is much more regulated than in some other countries.
Over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Robitussin, etc. are not available in stores like they are in some other countries. This kind of medication is for sale in pharmacies.
There is a pharmacy on duty until 10 pm every day, please contact the CLO Emergency number if you need information.
Patients who need help with medications may contact the medical liaison for assistance.
Medical care during pregnancy (prenatal care) is available in both Pápa and Győr.
In Pápa, women needing obstetric and gynecological care are usually seen by the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Gróf Esterházy Hospital. For the past few years the Chief of Obstetric and Gynecology has provided SAC women with timely care and an excellent bed-side manner. He speaks English, German and Polish.
In Győr, several OBGYN physicians at the Petz Aladár Teaching Hospital speak English. Patients should be aware, however, that ancillary staff, including nurses, generally do not speak English.
You might also want to explore the possibility of certain private clinics in Budapest. Please contact the CLO Medical Liaison Assistant.
In Hungary, prenatal visits are done approximately every month and more frequently after about week 34.
Each clinic visit includes an ultrasound and sometimes additional exams and laboratory studies.
Each woman may manage her pregnancy according to the customs of her own country and her own preferences.
The local obstetricians, however, will recommend exams and tests according to Hungarian practice guidelines.
In the Hungarian system, community based nurses (védőnő, or védőnők plural) work together with the local doctors, pediatricians and obstetricians, providing care for pregnant women and assisting families after the child is born.
These nurses are located throughout the city and help pregnant women with prenatal issues, as well as helping with care of the newborn and young children.
There is one Védőnő in Pápa who speaks English well, and she has agreed to provide this service to members of the SAC and their families.
Before delivery, women are expected to visit the nurse before each doctor’s appointment, and to bring a urine sample on each occasion. At each visit, the nurse checks the expectant mother’s weight, blood pressure and urine (for white cells and sugar). After delivery, the nurses assist with all health care matters including breast feeding, diet, safety and immunizations.
Free urine cups are available at the HAW clinic. As the time for delivery approaches, each woman needs to decide whether she wants the védőnő to visit her at home, either regularly or as needed or not at all. There is no pressure or requirement – it is entirely a personal choice – but it should be communicated to the védőnő.
Certain immunizations are required, and these are provided free of charge to all families who reside in Hungary for 3 months or longer.
Incoming families can begin to receive these immediately upon arrival since all SAC families will eventually stay for longer than 3 months.
The pediatrician will provide detailed information regarding these vaccinations and the vaccination schedule. Be sure to have an up-to-date vaccination book for your child, including dates, names of vaccination and if possible, the active agent of the vaccination.
There might be differences between names of vaccinations with same active agent in different countries.
Certain other vaccines are available but are not mandatory. These may be purchased by the family by asking the pediatrician for a prescription and buying the vaccine at a local pharmacy.
After the vaccine is purchased, it can be taken to the pediatrician for administration.
Families are advised to consult with the family pediatrician for details.
Since hospitals in Hungary are state-funded, it is up to the financial condition of the specific hospital what they are able to provide to patients who need to stay for an extended period of time.
Based on experience, these are the items you should take with you, if you have to spend several days in a hospital in Hungary:
What do you need in order to obtain medical coverage in Hungary?