MEDICINE IN ESTONIA
Medicine is an important and serious matter. In the confusion of moving around, it's easy to confuse or forget something, so we offer a small guide that will facilitate integration into a new health care system for you and your family.
The first and foremost: in the polyclinic to which you are attached, ask to make full extracts from medical records for all who move to Estonia. Make sure that the results of analyzes and studies are included there. If you suffer from some kind of chronic illness, ask for a separate and maximum complete extract with the results of analyzes and studies from your specialized specialist. Being a woman, ask for an extract from a gynecologist. Registration of papers in the registry can take some time, so it is better to deal with this issue in advance.
If you have important research results (MRI, CT, ultrasound, panoramic pictures from dentists), protocols of surgical procedures, documents for implants or prostheses, take them with you.
All this will be necessary so that your Estonian doctors can monitor your health, understanding what and how it happened to you earlier, before moving. It is quite difficult to start from scratch the management of an adult patient with the help of the accumulated history of diseases and injuries, so it is in your best interest to facilitate their task as much as possible.
The second: before leaving, make lists of drugs, each member of the family takes, and obtain the doctor's prescriptions for them.
Attention! The lists should contain not commercial, but universal international names of medicines, the ones usually indicated on packages under the commercial name: for example, if you take Nurofen, then you need to specify «ibuprofen» in the list. In instructions to drugs or on the Internet, it can also be called «active substance».
You will need these lists twice. The first time - when you will cross the border with your home medicine chest: border guards can compare the amount of imported drugs with the declared in the recipe of consumption. The second time - at the first visit to the family doctor already in Estonia: so he can transfer them to the card and write out to you recipes with European commercial names.
Third, pack the medicine in accordance with the rules for the importation of funds into Estonia. You can see them here. Pay attention to the rule of preserving the original packaging!
At the entrance to Estonia
With preparations in the allowed quantities, packed according to the rules, choose a green corridor. Additionally, you do not need to declare drugs.
For inclusion in the state system of medical insurance, the Haigekassa, you must work, study or stand on the register at the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Also, the insurance is granted to pregnant women and those who raise a child under the age of 8 or at least three children under 16 and have a spouse-employee. More detailed information can be found here.
The first: upon arrival in Estonia and obtaining residence permit you will need to register with a family doctor. The main way to distribute patients by doctors is to link to the address of residence. When you remove the housing and enter your residential address into the system (for more details see here, the Ministry of Health register will need to identify which family doctors are serving your area. To do this, on the page in the field Teeninduspiirkond («Service Area») enter your address (city, street and house number) and press Otsi («Search»). You will receive a list of family doctors, where the On kohti field will indicate whether the doctor has a place: Jah / Yes or Ei / No.
By clicking on the name of the selected doctor, a page with information about him will open, where, in particular, it will be indicated in which clinic he works.
Next, you just need to come to the registry and write a statement about your desire to be observed by this doctor.
If you don’t like your family doctor, you can change him in the same way, first having found out with the help of the search form whether he has a place. For more information, see the Ministry of Health page.
The second: go to your family doctor and tell him everything about yourself. Show him the list of medications taken, list all allergies and chronic diseases, bring extracts. Ask him to make prescriptions for your medications constantly taken and, possibly, order all necessary studies or give all the necessary directions. Queues to specialists are quite long, if the case is not urgent, so it's better to attend to in advance.
The third: save yourself a directory of Haigekassa (The Health Insurance Fund) in English. As a rule, fresh directories in English and Estonian languages are laid out for free at mailboxes at the beginning of the calendar year, but if you can not get a paper copy, you can download an electronic copy from the site. If the situation is critical, it may take longer to look for options on the Internet.
The fourth, look at this very handbook. With apparent general similarity in health systems, there are unobvious differences - for example, many visitors do not know about the option with electronic consultations or round-the-clock number 1220, where you can talk to the family doctor on duty in English.
Emergency medical care for adults
The general telephone for calling emergency services in Estonia is 112. Emergency service dispatchers serve emergency calls of all three spheres — ambulance, rescue service and police. An ambulance is usually called for in serious cases, if a person is not able to get to the hospital on his own. Anyone can get emergency help, regardless of the availability of insurance. Medical care is urgent in the event that any delay is directly threatening the life or health of a person.
If the situation is not so critical as to cause an ambulance, you can get medical aid on a first-come-first-served basis in emergency departments in hospitals (Erakorralise meditsiini osakond, «Emergency Department», often shortened to EMO abbreviation).
Emergency departments exist in the following hospitals:
PERH (Põhja-Eesti Regionaalhaigla, North-Estonian Regional Hospital)
This is the central emergency room. In PERH, medical care is provided for almost all medical specialties, but the queues can be quite long.
Ida-Tallinna Keskhaigla (Central Hospital of Eastern Tallinn)
There are fewer queues, but there is no on-duty otolaryngologist — with emergency ENT conditions you should immediately contact PERH.
Lääne-Tallinna Keskhaigla (Central Hospital of Western Tallinn)
There are even fewer queues, but there is no injury point, oculist and otolaryngologist.
Emergency oculist care is available on a first-come-first-served basis at the Eye Clinic in Ravi and the Magdalene Policlinic (only on weekdays).
Infectious diseases and poisonings
Infectious clinic Merimetsa (entrance to the reception from the courtyard of the building). The clinic operates from Monday to Friday and accepts both adults and children.
Emergency reception of the gynecologist and midwife in order of the first line at the Women's Clinic at Ravi and the Women's Clinic in Pelgulinna.
Emergency medical care for children
Emergency medical care for children is in the Children's Hospital. In the daytime there is a pediatrician and an ENT on duty, who take on a first-come first-served basis. Traumatologists and the doctor on duty are round the clock. The help is free and it turns out pretty quickly.
On weekdays during the day you will be taken to the Children's polyclinic in Ravi. At the weekends, you can contact Tõnismäe hambapolikliinik.
Hence much better, of course, just not to fall ill!