Healthcare
June 13, 2024
Reading Time: 5 min

Guide to Healthcare in Cyprus

What’s not to like about Cyprus? The sea, the sun, the leisurely pace of life, low tax rates, and the sun again. However, the idyllic life may be interrupted by having to see a doctor.

No worries — in this article, we tell you all about Cyprus healthcare, from how it works to who to call in case of emergency.

Igor Buglo
Igor Buglo

Explained how Cyprus healthcare system works

Cyprus Healthcare System: A Detailed Guide

Guide to Healthcare in Cyprus

Overview of Cyprus healthcare system

Cyprus offers public and private healthcare to its nationals and foreign citizens.

The Cyprus public healthcare system has been improving since 2019 following the establishment of a universal health insurance system: the General Healthcare System (GESY).

According to the Country Health Profile by the European Commission, Cyprus is among the healthiest countries in Europe. The country’s death rates from preventable causes are among the lowest in the European Union.

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Among the disadvantages of the Cyprus healthcare system is a need for more doctors and nurses in public healthcare, especially during tourist season. Public hospitals in Paphos and Famagusta become packed as the population increases almost twice seasonally.

Still, the number of doctors is higher than average in Europe, and Cyprus hopes to fill the vacant posts with new specialists. There are four medical schools in the country.

Private healthcare offers many options for every pocket. A private healthcare insurance is a must to apply for permanent residence in the country.

Public healthcare in Cyprus

The public system is closely regulated by the Ministry of Health. 933,000 beneficiaries were registered in the system by April 2023, making up three-quarters of the population.

Four categories of people are entitled to public health insurance in Cyprus:

  • Cyprus citizens;

  • employees from EU countries;

  • employees from non-EU states with permanent residence permits in Cyprus;

  • family members of the beneficiaries above.

The public system is funded by the government. Every Cyprus tax resident has to pay a health tax, depending on their income: 2,65% for employees and pensioners and 4% for self-employed individuals.

In return, GESY provides all medical services for citizens and residents of Cyprus, from a standard medical check to complex surgeries.

Every person registered in GESY has a personal doctor or general practitioner. The latter provides primary health care free of charge and can issue a referral if a patient needs to see a consultant. A visit to a consultant with a referral costs €6; without a referral — €25.

Small co-payments of up to €10 may be charged for extra services, like buying a pharmaceutical product or having a laboratory examination.

There is no charge for women to visit an outpatient specialist in gynaecology or obstetrics or for people serving compulsory military service with a referral by an army doctor.

Depending on age, a person can only see a general practitioner a limited number of times per year.

Age group

Number of visits per year

birth to 1 year old

10

1—3 years old

8

3—6 years old

7

6—11 years old

4

11—18 years old

3

18—41 years old

4

41—51 years old

6

51—65 years old

8

over 65 years old

10

EU and UK citizens in Cyprus can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to access the Cyprus public healthcare system. The cardholders have to pay €3 to visit a general practitioner and can receive urgent treatment related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a chronic illness.

Permanent residents in Cyprus are eligible for the public healthcare system, provided they have contributed to the country’s budget for at least three years. Permanent residents can issue a medical card online and submit a paper version at any Citizen Service Centre.

Private healthcare in Cyprus

The private healthcare system in Cyprus operates independently from the public system. It is predominantly unregulated, with most of its funding coming directly from customers: Cyprus citizens and foreigners.

Prices in private healthcare differ from company to company and depend on the chosen insurance program, medical history, and other factors.

Private health insurance is required to apply for permanent residence in Cyprus. Insurance can be obtained from a local company or an international provider operating in Cyprus.

Travel insurance for tourists in Cyprus

Travel insurance is compulsory if you visit Cyprus on a Schengen or a tourist visa. The insurance must cover at least €30,000 for medical expenses and repatriation for medical reasons.

The average price of travel insurance is usually up to 8% of the trip cost and depends on the trip duration, the insurance plan, the cost of local medical care, and the tourist’s age and health.

Local Cyprus providers offer travel insurance at a price ranging from €20 to 250. The average cost for a weekly trip is about €45 per person.

Travel insurance in Cyprus does not typically cover:

  • medical treatment for pre-existing conditions a tourist has not declared;

  • medical treatment for accidents and injuries while a traveller is under the influence of drugs or alcohol;

  • damages and accidents caused by extreme and winter sports;

  • natural disasters, civil unrest, and terrorism-related incidents;

  • lost belongings left unattended.

The European Health Insurance Card and the UK Global Health Insurance Card cannot replace travel insurance, as they cover only emergency medical expenses.

Pharmacies in Cyprus

Recognising a pharmacy in the street is easy. It is a usual green cross, found almost everywhere in the world. The pharmacies in Cyprus are called “φαρμακείο”, which sounds almost like “pharmacy” — ”farmakeio”.

The working hours of pharmacies are often from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a lunch break during the business week and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at weekends. There are also night pharmacies.

If you are entitled to Cyprus’s public healthcare, you can obtain certain drugs at pharmacies with a co-payment of €1. You must get a prescription from your GP or a consultant first.

Buying medicines online is impossible in Cyprus. This way, Cyprus restricts the sale of falsified medicine.

Medical emergency in Cyprus

Emergency treatment and other medical services in Cyprus may require a co-payment — a set sum paid directly to the healthcare providers. Usually, it is no more than €10.

To call an ambulance, dial 112 or 199.

List of Private and Public Hospitals in Cyprus

Public hospitals and health centres in Cyprus belong to the State Health Services Organisation (SHSO), the largest healthcare provider in Cyprus. It runs nine hospitals and 38 health centres in all cities and provinces.

Staff at medical facilities in Cyprus tend to speak good English, so there should be no problem communicating your problem.

Public hospitals in Cyprus

Name

Phone Number

Address

Nicosia General Hospital

+357 22603000

215 Limassol Old Road, Strovolos, Nicosia 2029

Archbishop Makarios III Hospital

+357 22405000

6 Korytsas Street, Acropolis, Nicosia 2012

Limassol General Hospital

+357 25801100

Nikaias Street, Kato Polemidia, Limassol 3304

Larnaca General Hospital

+357 24800500

United States of America Street, Larnaca 6043

Famagusta General Hospital

+357 23200000

25 Christou Ketis Street, Paralimni, 5310

Paphos General Hospital

+357 26803100

Anavargos Street, Anavargos, Paphos 8026

Athalassa Psychiatric Hospital

+357 22402100

Limassol Old Road, Strovolos, Nicosia 2029

Private hospitals and health centres in Cyprus

Name

Phone number

Address

American Medical Centre/American Heart Institute in Nicosia

+357 22476777

215 Spyrou Kyprianou Ave, Strovolos, Nicosia 2047

Apollonion Private Hospital in Nicosia

+357 22469000

20 Lefkotheou Avenue, Strovolos, Nicosia 2054

Aretaeio Private Hospital in Nicosia

+357 22200300

55‑57 Andrea Avraamidi Street, Strovolos, Nicosia 2024

Blue Cross Medical Centre in Paphos

+357 26221111

51 Demokratias Ave, Paphos 8062

Elpis Medical Centre in Paphos

+357 26953000

68 Agapinoros Street, Kato Paphos 8135

Evangelismos Private Hospital in Paphos

+357 26848000

87 Vasileos Constantinou, Paphos 8062

Hippocrateon Private Hospital in Nicosia

+357 22502000

6‑12 Psaron Street, Engomi, Nicosia 2408

Holy Cross Clinic in Larnaca

+357 24631666

17 Rafael Santi Street, Larnaca 6052

Iasis Private Hospital in Cyprus

+357 26848484

8 Voriou Ipiriou Street, Paphos 8069

Lito Private Hospital in Paralini

+357 23811111

8 Sotiras Avenue, Paralimni 5312

Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus in Limassol

+357 25200000

9 Stygos Street, Limassol 3117

Napa Olympic Private Hospital

+ 357 23723222

24 Havares Street, Agia Napa

Polis Medical Centre in Paphos

+357 26323100

13 Efessou Street, Polis Chrysochous, Paphos 8820

Royal Artemis Private Hospital in Paphos

+357 26961600

2 Pavlou Crineou Street, Paphos 8035

St Raphael Private Hospital in Larnaca

+357 24840840

25 Gordiou Desmou Street, Larnaca 6045

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is healthcare good in Cyprus?

    Cyprus’s healthcare is trustworthy and quality enough, and the public healthcare system counts three-quarters of the population. The country’s death rates from preventable causes are among the lowest in the European Union.

  • Is healthcare free in Cyprus?

    Healthcare is almost free for those who pay taxes for at least three years. Small co-payments may be charged for related services.

  • Is healthcare free in Cyprus for expats?

    Cyprus permanent residents can access Cyprus public healthcare if they have paid taxes for at least three years.

  • What type of healthcare system does Cyprus have?

    Cyprus offers both public and private healthcare. The public sector is funded by the government and can be accessed by Cyprus nationals and residents. Private health insurance is required to apply for permanent residence in Cyprus.

  • Is healthcare expensive in Cyprus?

    The public healthcare system is quite affordable for Cyprus nationals, requiring only small co-payments for medical services and medication. The country’s tax residents finance the system by paying a health tax, depending on their income: 2,65% for employees and pensioners and 4% for self-employed individuals.

  • Does Cyprus have universal health care?

    Yes, it does. After several reforms in 2019, the Cyprus healthcare system became universal.