Healthcare in LiechtensteinIt’s one of the smallest nations in the world, but Liechtenstein’s importance in the finance and banking world means that many business travellers pass through each year. Liechtenstein is not a member of the EU, but is a member of the wider European Economic Area, and that means that reciprocal EHIC arrangements can be used by British travellers to Liechtenstein. Alternatively, medical cover as part of a travel insurance policy can give some additional benefits which could prove very useful in an emergency situation.
State healthcare in Liechtenstein and using your EHICEHIC is a card which you have to apply for online before leaving home, and will give you the same treatment in Liechtenstein state hospitals as a citizen would receive. Don’t assume though that this means treatment will be free, as it is under the NHS. Under the state system in Liechtenstein, all users of public health care – whether residents or visitors – have to pay a standard monthly insurance charge, and then a percentage of their treatment costs. People under 20 are exempt, and over 65’s pay half price. The monthly access fee for the health service is around £50. You will be expected to pay this if you see a GP, or have to go to hospital. There is only one state hospital in Liechtenstein, which is modern and of a very high standard. Often, patients with more complex needs will be treated in hospitals nearby in Switzerland or Austria. This is still covered under EHIC arrangements, but makes it even more important to get receipts for every payment, fully itemised bills and to ensure at every stage that doctors and hospital administrators are aware that you should be treated as a state patient. Most healthcare professionals in Liechtenstein will speak good English, as is the case if you are transferred to Switzerland or Austria.
There is no state dental cover in Liechtenstein, and you will be expected to pay the full cost of any treatment. Always get receipts for payment. You will also be expected to contribute towards any medication that you are prescribed by a doctor.
Medical Cover and Travel Insurance for LiechtensteinBeing admitted to hospital in Liechtenstein is not cheap, and even under EHIC rules you could end up with a hefty bill, especially if you are transferred elsewhere to complete treatment. If you have medical cover on your travel insurance you could be eligible to claim these costs back, as long as you have cleared any treatment with your insurer and kept receipts. Using private medical insurance may also give you speedier access to a GP appointment or diagnostic tests. Travel insurance will also cover the costs of being taken to hospitals in Switzerland or Austria, and will also compensate for any additional costs in getting you home if your flight plans change.
If you have not organised EHIC cover, or additional travel insurance for your trip and have an accident or fall ill, the bill could easily run into thousands of pounds very quickly.