Healthcare in Cyprus is cheap and effective, and is another reason many expats relocate to the island.
The Cyprus healthcare system is divided into public and private sectors. Public healthcare is cheap and subsidised, and even private healthcare costs can be quite affordable.
Both state-funded and private hospitals can be found in all of Cyprus's major cities. Healthcare facilities in the south of Cyprus are generally considered to be better than those in the Turkish-occupied north of the island.
Doctors working in both sectors of the medical industry are often trained overseas and most, if not all, speak an acceptable level of English. It's nevertheless a good idea to take a notepad to appointments, in case it’s necessary to write down the doctor’s response for later translation. Expats shouldn't be afraid to ask their new doctor questions or have them repeat themselves.
Public healthcare in Cyprus
Public healthcare in Cyprus is administered by the Ministry of Health and is largely financed by taxes and mandatory social services contributions.
Access to public healthcare is determined via residency status. Anyone staying in Cyprus for three months or more is considered a resident, allowing them to register with the General Healthcare System (GHS) and select a local doctor. This can be done online.
Private healthcare in Cyprus
Many expats choose to take out a private healthcare policy to access a wider variety of hospitals and facilities, and to skip the public sector's occasionally long waiting lists. An assortment of schemes are available to expats in Cyprus, each tailored individually based on certain criteria.
There are two main private health insurance options available to expats. Some choose the stability and flexibility of international private medical cover, while others opt for considerably cheaper premiums with a local private medical insurance company.
Treatment is often paid for upfront by the patient and is reimbursed within the month. Depending on the policy, it shouldn't be necessary to notify the provider before receiving treatment, although most companies do offer a 24-hour toll-free number should patients have any issues or queries.
Pharmacies in Cyprus
There are many pharmacies in Cyprus, especially in highly populated areas such as Paphos, Larnaca and Limassol.
Cyprus pharmacies are typically open from 9am until noon or 1pm, when they close for a few hours and reopen from 3pm to 6pm or 7pm. Night pharmacies are open from 8am to 10pm but can be contacted 24 hours if medication is needed.
Emergency services in Cyprus
There are nationwide emergency services in Cyprus, but they can be inconsistent and relatively slow. Expats often rely on neighbours and friends to drive them to hospital in non-critical situations.
Some private hospitals have their own ambulance services, but charge for transporting patients.
Emergency numbers in Cyprus
- 112 – General emergency number for EU countries
- 199 – Local emergency number in Cyprus