When sick in your home country, you know exactly what to do and where to go. That all changes once you move to a foreign place.
Finding a doctor in Croatia that you can communicate with when you don’t speak Croatian can be the biggest headache of them all. All you want is care, and yet there are several hurdles to go through before you even see a doctor.
Getting a doctor referral
Most people find an English-speaking doctor is by referral from a friend, colleague, or other English-speaking local.
Thanks to the ever growing expat community in Croatia, it’s getting a little easier to find an English-speaking physician. If you are not yet plugged in to the local expat community, the easiest way to get a recommendation is to post on one of the many Croatia expat Facebook groups. We’ve got the full list here.
In addition, the US Embassy in Zagreb has created this nifty list of English-speaking doctors in Croatia broken down by city.
Once you get a recommendation, keep in mind that not all doctors are created equal. Only public doctors are covered under HZZO. For all private doctors, you’ll need to pay out of pocket. For private doctors, out of pocket fees can range from 200 to 500 kuna depending on the specialty and the service.
Know how to look for a doctor
Let’s say you need a cardiologist. You can google “cardiologists in Rijeka”, but you likely won’t get any results since you are searching in English.
To search for a doctor more effectively, we have created two lists to help you out. The first is a list of the types of doctors and doctor offices translated into English and Croatian. You can search and filter this list here.
The second list covers medical practices and specialties. It is also translated into both English and Croatian and is easily searchable and filterable.
Once you know the Croatian name for the doctor or practice, you can better find the physician you need.
Healthcare for tourists
If you are only in Croatia temporarily, then your best bet is to visit a poliklinika. A poliklinika is a larger practice that usually has doctors from multiple specialties on staff. They are usually not covered by state health insurance and are considered by private. You’ll have a much better chance of getting an appointment and speaking with someone in English.
Agram Specijalna Bolnica is one of the biggest in Croatia, but you can just google “poliklinika” for the city you are in to find a list. Since poliklinika practices are private, there is a much higher chance of the staff speaking English.