Public Health Service in Latvia

Health insurance

Latvian legislation stipulates that foreigners have the right to enter and reside in Latvia if they have a valid health insurance policy guaranteeing payment of expenses related to health care. A health insurance policy must be presented for obtaining a temporary residence permit. The validity of the policy should not be less than the intended period of stay of a foreigner in Latvia, and it must guarantee the following health care services:

  • emergency medical care,
  • treatment of a life-threatening or health critical condition in a hospital,
  • transportation to the nearest medical facility in both of the above cases,
  • transportation for return to home country in case of serious illness or death.

It is possible to apply for private medical insurance in insurance companies of Latvia.

To enter and stay in Latvia, a medical insurance policy is not needed for:

  • foreigners who request a permanent residence permit,
  • foreigners who are family members of citizens of a European Union country, European Economic Area or Switzerland, who work in Latvia or are self-employed in Latvia (i.e., entrepreneurs).
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Healthcare system in Latvia

If you have a temporary residence permit in Latvia, you and your children cannot receive state-guaranteed medical care, so you will have to pay for these services yourself, if possible, using a health insurance policy. In case of using an insurance policy, reimbursement for health care costs is in accordance with the insurance policy conditions of your insurance company.

If you are married to a citizen or non-citizen of Latvia and have a temporary residence permit, you can get free medical care for pregnant women and assistance at birth.

Emergency medical care is available to anyone in situations where their health and life are at risk. However, the cost of emergency medical care for third-country citizens staying in Latvia with a temporary residence permit is covered by a health insurance policy.

In Latvia, to call emergency medical care, you need to call 113 or 112. To receive emergency medical care, you may have to present a health insurance policy, so it is recommended that you always carry it with you.

Permanent residents of Latvia, including foreigners with permanent residence permits, are provided with health care services at lower prices when visiting specialist doctors with a referral from a family doctor.

If you have a temporary residence permit, the state does not provide you with paid health care services, so you must pay the full cost of visiting a specialist yourself or using health insurance.

Primary care family doctors, pediatricians, nurses, medical assistants, midwives and dentists.

Secondary medical care – narrow specialists, treatment in hospitals. A temporary residence permit holder may apply to a specialist doctor without a referral from a family doctor. Consultation with a specialist will cost from 15 to 50 euros on average, maybe even higher, depending on the type of medical institution.

Specialized medical services – specialists with additional qualifications. At the third level of health care in Latvia, we are talking about treating patients with rare and dangerous diseases and illnesses whose treatment requires unique and expensive technologies.

In case of emergency, you can always contact the emergency medicine department at the hospital or call an ambulance. Transportation in an ambulance in an emergency is free, but you need to pay for hospitalization. One day will cost at least 15 euros, and a maximum depends again on the type of medical center.

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Family doctor

Everyone has the right to choose a family doctor. You should consult your family doctor at the first symptoms of the disease.

Family doctor:

  • refers the patient to a specialist doctor;
  • gives advice on disease prevention;
  • takes preventive measures and issues medical certificates, as well as certificates regarding disability;
  • gives recipes. Doctors prescribe patients digital prescriptions for medications.

You can make an appointment with family doctor at the clinic where your chosen family doctor works. You can also change the doctor by submitting an application to a new family doctor. It is recommended to choose a doctor who works as close as possible to the patient’s place of residence.

If you need advice from an experienced doctor, call the advisory phone number of family doctors 66016001.

Family doctors and medical assistants will give medical advice to residents who need medical care with simple support.

An advisory telephone provides the opportunity to receive medical advice outside the working hours of family doctors – in the case of a simple illness that does not require immediate medical attention.

You can also send your question by email – medkonsultacija@gmail.com

By calling the advisory telephone number of family doctors 66016001, medical advice to residents is provided in Latvian, Russian and English.

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Dentistry

  • All children under 18 years old who are covered by health insurance are also entitled to free dental care. Adults can receive free dental care only if its delay or failure to provide could result in permanent injury or death of the patient. In all other cases, payment for dental services is made by patient. Normally, there are health insurance policies that partially cover dental treatment.

Hospitals and polyclinics

The information about private clinics in Riga is available here – https://www.topmedclinic.com/clinics/latvia/

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