Hungarian health insurance

Hungary has a tax-funded universal healthcare system.  Expats who are working or studying in Hungary are covered under the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (NEAK) through mandatory contributions usually paid by the individual’s employer. To be able to access various health care services (GPs, specialists, dentists, or hospitals) free of charge, one needs to have a Hungarian health insurance card, known as a Társadalombiztosítási Azonosító Jel (TAJ) Kártya, usually solicited by the employer before the expat’s arrival to the country. 

Nonetheless, even without a TAJ card, all foreigners, including tourists, are automatically covered for first aid and emergency treatment in Hungary. In addition, residents of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland, who are entitled to health care of the national health services or mandatory health insurance scheme of their respective countries of residence, can receive health care:

  • which becomes necessary
  • on medical grounds
  • During a temporary stay in Hungary
  • considering the nature of the benefits required and the expected length of stay.

Treatment, which becomes medically necessary during the patient’s temporary stay in Hungary, is free of charge. Treatment under the same conditions as Hungarian-insured persons can be obtained with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or via the Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC), which must be submitted to the health care provider. The EHIC must be issued in the individual’s respective country and is also available free of charge. 

Citizens from non-EU or non-EEA countries should find out whether there is a reciprocal arrangement for free medical care between their country and Hungary. Relevant information is available on the websites of the respective country’s embassies.

For more detailed information on health care services available during a temporary stay in Hungary, check out the website of the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (NEAK).

Those who want to access an even more comprehensive range of healthcare services might consider purchasing private health insurance.

General practitioners (GPs)

General practitioners (háziorvos) are the first point of contact in accessing health care services in Hungary since they provide referrals to specialists and hospitals. Therefore, it is essential to register with a GP when you arrive in Hungary. To find out which GP belongs to your district, visit the following website here

At the bottom of the page, you will find a map whereby entering your home address (street and house number), you can find out the name and contact details of the GP working in your respective district. 

If you would like to consult a specialist (szakorvos), you need a referral from a GP. Once you have a referral, you can make an appointment with the specialist directly. However, you do not need a referral from a GP in case you want to see an ophthalmologist, an otolaryngologist, a dentist, a dermatologist, a gynaecologist, a surgeon or a traumatologist.

As mentioned above, to see a GP or a specialist, you need to have a Hungarian health insurance card, known as a Társadalombiztosítási Azonosító Jel (TAJ) Kártya, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or any valid health insurance (see above).


Debrecen has two public hospitals: Kenézy Gyula Teaching Hospital and the Clinical Center of the University of Debrecen. Hospitals provide emergency care, outpatient, and inpatient care, as well as diagnostics. 

Patients with a residence in Debrecen are admitted primarily to the Clinical Center of the University of Debrecen, while those with a residence in Hajdú-Bihar County (outside of Debrecen) are admitted to the Kenézy Gyula Teaching Hospital. Both hospitals have on-site pharmacies and provide medical services after hours (see under the ‘Urgent Care’ section). 

Find departments of the Clinical Center of the University of Debrecen here.

Child healthcare

If the child is sick (not in case of emergency), you should consult a paediatrician. Like adult GPs, paediatricians are assigned to different districts of Debrecen. See the list of paediatric GPs by district here.  

Specialist medical care is available with a GP referral.  The Clinical Center of the University of Debrecen has a specialised Paediatrics Clinic whose activities cover the entire spectrum of Paediatrics. Besides general diagnostic and therapeutic methods, modern procedures are also performed that are acknowledged internationally as well. The Division of General Paediatrics provides treatment for diseases of the heart and the kidney, gastrointestinal diseases, and for diseases of the nervous system and hormonal system. The units for premature infants, new-borns, paediatric intensive care, and the division of paediatric surgery are also available for the small patients. The division of haematology/oncology provides care for blood-forming disorders and tumours, and the division of allergology treats patients with respiratory diseases.

The Paediatrics Clinic also provides emergency care for paediatric emergencies.

The Emergency Outpatient Clinic of the Paediatrics Clinic receives children requiring urgent care between 0-24 hours. The General Outpatient Clinic of the Paediatrics Clinic is open on weekdays from 8 am to 3 pm for children with a referral from a paediatric GP.

Pediatrics Clinic
Address: 4032 Debrecen, Nagyerdei körút 98.
Phone: +36 52 255 603
See on map

Having a child

Even though Hungary offers universal healthcare, it is a common practice among pregnant women to have an obstetrician/gynaecologist (szülész/nőgyógyász) to follow their pregnancy and deliver the baby. While the pregnancy is monitored in the private practice of the selected obstetrician/gynaecologist, the babies are delivered at state hospitals. Giving birth in Hungary is medicalised, which means that there is always an obstetrician present (a midwife is not qualified for this task). Home births are not covered by the national health system and are highly regulated. In the delivery room, only one person is allowed, either the father or a helper. The Clinical Center of the University of Debrecen was the first hospital in Hungary to introduce this family-friendly policy. For this approach, in 1992, the World Health Organization recognized the Clinical Center as a ‘baby-friendly hospital’, the first of its kind in Hungary and Europe.

Health visitors (védőnő) facilitate the work of the obstetrician/gynaecologist and have a key role during the pregnancy period and also after giving birth. The tasks fulfilled by the health visitor range from teaching the methods of breastfeeding and performing organisational tasks related to vaccination to monitoring the status and development of premature and new-born babies, healthy and endangered infants. Once the pregnancy is confirmed, it is also the health visitor’s responsibility to issue a booklet (kiskönyv) in which all medical appointments and notes have to be recorded during the pregnancy. The list of Debrecen-based health visitors can be found on the following website.



In case of emergency, call 112 or go to the Emergency Clinics of the Clinical Centre of the University of Debrecen. You do not need a referral to be seen by a doctor and emergency care is provided free of charge to all Hungarians and foreigners, regardless of their nationality. 

In case you need an ambulance or emergency medical assistance, call 112. This is the uniform European emergency phone number available 24/7, free of charge from a landline or mobile phone everywhere in Hungary, the EU, and almost all over Europe.

Emergency Clinic for Adults

The Emergency Clinic is located in the old building of Surgery Clinic I.
4032 Debrecen, Nagyerdei Körút 98.
Phone: +36 52 506 303

Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department
4033 Debrecen, Bartók Béla Street 2-26.
Ground floor of the Emergency Block at the Kenézy Gyula Teaching Hospital
(next to the ambulance reception)
Phone: +36 52 511 832

Paediatric Emergency

The Emergency Outpatient Clinic of the Paediatrics Clinic receives children requiring urgent care between 0-24 hours. The General Outpatient Clinic of the Paediatrics Clinic is open on weekdays from 8 am to 3 pm for children with a referral from a paediatric GP.
4032 Debrecen, Nagyerdei körút 98. (basement, door 57.)
Phone: +36 52 255 603

Paediatric Emergency (available 24/7) – Paediatric on-call service after hours (on weekdays from 6 pm until 8 am the following day; at the weekend and on holidays, there is a 24-hour on-call service)
H-4032 Debrecen, Nagyerdei körút 98.
Eastern wing of the Paediatrics Clinic (basement) at the Clinical Center of the University of Debrecen
Phone: +36 52 255 603 or +36 52 506 303
See on map

Medicine & Pharmacies

Debrecen has 56 pharmacies (gyógyszertár, patika) scattered around the city. They supply medications you can buy either over the counter or with a valid prescription issued by your Hungarian GP or specialist. They are often marked with an illuminated green cross or with the symbol of a snake coiled up around a cup.

A new e-prescription system has recently been introduced in Hungary, meaning that pharmacies no longer need paper prescriptions to buy medical products. Pharmacists can use the patient’s Hungarian Health Insurance Card (TAJ kártya) and ID card to access the Electronic Medical Service Space (EESzT), which contains electronic prescriptions for each patient. Please note that Hungarian pharmacies do not accept prescriptions from abroad.

Pharmacy on call
Benu pharmacy
Opening hours: non-stop (24/7)
H-4024, Debrecen, Csapó utca 1.
Phone number: +36 52 532 839


Basic dental health services are covered by national health insurance, excluding specialised dental care. You should visit the dental practice that belongs to your district, although you are also allowed to see other dentists if they approve so. Basic dental services can be used without a referral, while specialised care, including oral surgery, orthodontia, the treatment of periodontal diseases, child specialist care and dental x-rays can only be provided with a referral from a regular dentist.

Urgent dental care
Fórum Dental Debrecen
(only on weekends and holidays from 7:30 am to 13:30 pm)

Location: 7 Rákóczi Street, Debrecen, H-4024
+36 52 420 371; +36 30 271 7600