Health care for persons with international protection

If the person has been granted international protection, they and their family get compulsory health insurance based on the international protection status. These persons have the right to health care services in the same scope as any other person in Slovenia who is covered with compulsory health insurance.1

This means they will get an insurance card that they need to present when they go to the doctor. It also means that they have the right to choose their personal doctor; everybody needs to have a chosen general physician, who gives him or her access to other health care services. If the person has children, they have to be registered with a paediatrician.

Persons with international protection can use, free of charge, the services of:

  • primary health care of general practitioner (family doctor), gynaecologist, paediatrician and dentist,
  • diagnostic examinations in health centres, laboratories and hospitals, if they are referred by the primary health care practitioner,
  • specialist health services and hospital treatments to which the primary health care practitioner refers them,
  • emergency medical assistance and ambulance transport,
  • medication prescribed to you by your primary health care practitioner or a specialist they were referred to.

If the person belongs to a vulnerable group (see chapter Information for different groups), he/she may receive additional health care services according to needs and special circumstances.

If the person is unemployed and receives financial social you automatically obtain compulsory insurance. If meet certain additional criteria (e.g. you are registered with the Employment Service of Slovenia), you can apply for the supplementary health insurance for you and your family members at the Centre for Social Work. assistance. For more information, see module 4 (Housing and social welfare).

Once a person finds employment, he/she automatically obtains compulsory insurance on the basis of the employment. The employer has to register the employee with the proper authority. This means that both the employee and the employer must pay monthly contributions for the health insurance fund from the gross salary.

Health care services for family members
If the person has been granted international protection, his/her family members with legal residence in Slovenia have the same rights as Slovene nationals. They have the right to health care services in the same scope as any person with compulsory health insurance in Slovenia and they can apply for supplementary health insurance as described above.
Primary health care
Primary health care services are usually the first contact point in the Slovene health care system. One will get primary health care from:

  • general physician/family doctor in the local health care centre,
  • paediatrician for children,
  • gynaecologist for women,
  • dentist for problems with teeth.One does not need a referral to visit a primary care physician. However, one needs to make an appointment (by phone or in person), except if one gets sick suddenly.
Specialist health care and hospitals
The primary health care physician, usually a general practitioner or family doctor, assesses if the person needs some additional tests (for example in laboratories) or further examinations. He/she will issue a referral to a specialist or for laboratory tests.

Specialist health care services are provided on appointment only. Usually one has to make the appointment by oneself. In case where the person wishes to be examined by a physician of a certain gender (male or female), he/she needs to mention this when making such appointment. Sometimes this is not be possible because of the specialist of the chosen gender is unavailable.

If a person needs to be treated in the hospital, he/she will get an appointment and the general physician will issue a referral. In case of medical emergency, the person will be admitted to the hospital immediately and without referral.

In case one needs to see a general physician outside their working hours (on weekends, during holidays or at night), the person can go to the on-call duty medical service in the community healthcare centre. Emergency medical service in Slovenia is available 24 hours per day all week and during holidays.

Dental services
Primary care dentists work in the community health centres or in private practice under a contract with public health insurance fund. As a rule, one has to pay for all dental treatments that are not necessary from a medical point of view. It is not uncommon that the patient has to pay for special dental treatments. This applies also to dental implants.

In case one needs a dentist outside of their working hours due to an emergency (severe toothache), one has to contact the emergency dental service, which is provided only by a few healthcare facilities.

Healthcare services for children
In principle, all children under 18 (under 26 for children that go to school), including asylum seekers and children with international protection, have the right to health care in Slovenia in the same scope as children of Slovene citizens.

Infants and preschool children (up to 6 years of age) need to be taken to the paediatrician (pediater), who is specialist for children. One does not need referral to visit a paediatrician; however, one has to make an appointment in advance by phone or in person.

Children of school age go to the general or family physician, specialising in school-age children.

In school, physicians specialized in school medicine at a local health centre will periodically examine the children. These physicians perform preventive medical check-ups in schoolchildren and university students, vaccination and health education.

Mandatory vaccinations for children
In Slovenia, there is a mandatory immunization (vaccination) program for children. That means that all children have to be vaccinated against several infectious diseases.

The mandatory vaccinations are given to all children free of charge.

The Slovene Institute for Public Health publishes a children vaccination calendar each year (in Slovene)

If the child has received some vaccines in its country of origin or in another country, the doctors will adapt the vaccination program in Slovenia to the vaccinations already received. That is why it is important that you keep your children’s vaccination record.

Special health care service for women

Gynaecologists in community health centres or in private practices who have contract with public health insurance fund will provide women with the primary health service regarding reproductive (women’s) health. One does not need a referral to see a gynaecologist in primary health care.

The person can choose her gynaecologist and her insurance covers the cost of the visits and further referrals or medicines.

All women who are pregnant or give birth have the right to the same maternal health care services as Slovene nationals regardless of the status. This includes regular health exams, medication if needed and counselling during pregnancy, hospital care and assistance during and after childbirth.

Health care services particularly for traumatized persons and persons with torture experience
Health care services for torture survivors and persons experiencing potentially traumatic events usually include psychological counselling and psychotherapy. People will usually receive these services from non-profit organizations who help and support refugees or they will help you search for this kind of counselling.2

For a torture survivor or a person who has experienced potentially traumatic events who needs medical assistance and services, non-profit organizations will help to find a doctor according to his/her needs and health care rights.


  1. Slovenian health system navigation guide for migrants (
  2. Health care services for torture survivors. Retrieved from:

Project Partners

Casework is a cooperation between the Innovation in Learning Institute (ILI), the ECC Association for Interdisciplinary Consulting and Education, the INTRGEA Institute for Development of Human Potentials, and Oxfam Italy. More info…