How to find an English-speaking doctor

How to find a doctor in Croatia

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.

Sunce Poliklinika is one of the biggest in Croatia, but you can just google “poliklinika” for the city you are in to find a list.

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24 thoughts on “How to find an English-speaking doctor

  1. Aina
    November 20, 2014 @ 2:48 pm

    Dear Sara,

    My name is Aina and I am a mexican-latvian living since a little more than a year in Jelsa, Hvar.

    Congratulaitons on your website! It is superb and has always been very helpful to me!

    Since you live in Split and have come up with the doctors topic, I would like to ask if you do know/recommend any private Gynecologist that speaks English in Split?

    Hope to hear back from you.

    Best,

    Aina

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 21, 2015 @ 11:56 am

      Hi Aina,

      Yes, Dr. Baldo Obad near Split hospital on Dubrovacka Ulica. You can search to find him in google. Speaks excellent English.

      {reply}

  2. Ashleigh
    June 23, 2015 @ 6:27 pm

    Hey Sara,

    I will soon be entering Croatia and will be there for almost all of July. I am in a pickle as I recently extended my round the world trip to include South Africa, and I need to have some vaccinations at least a month in advance (I leave in August)

    Are you aware of any travel doctors or any GPs who would be able to adminster these vaccinations anywhere in Split?

     

    Please let me know,

    Ash

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      June 25, 2015 @ 12:23 pm

      Hi Ash,

      It would depend on the vaccinations that you need. I suggest posting in this Facebook group to get a recommendation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SplitSplitters/

      Cheers and safe travels!

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Janne
    June 28, 2017 @ 8:00 am

    We are on Brac/Milna and I wonder If there is a doctor on the iland?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      July 5, 2017 @ 10:32 am

      Hi Janne,

      I recommend posting in one of the Expat Facebook Groups for Split. There are two. You can post there and someone should be able to give you a referral.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  4. Chris Goodchild
    September 23, 2017 @ 7:26 am

    Dear Sara
    I am trying to contact a Dr that seen my husband at the Westin Zagreb Motel,we were travelling on an Evergreen Tur and he was seen at 00.30 on 07/08/2017. The information I have on the medical sheet is Bros Putounice :4483821 or Zeljko Glavas, dr.med. 165395, hoping you can help
    Regards
    Chris

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      September 25, 2017 @ 10:14 am

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Wasn’t able to find much on this doctor, except for this: http://najdoktor.com/zeljko-Glavas/d11393 Recommend contacting the hotel that set you up with the doctor to confirm the contact number.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  5. Erin
    April 24, 2018 @ 3:52 pm

    Hi I am going to work in Croatia in summer 2018 and I need to get my contraception depo injection while I’m out there van you help me with to where I can get this done ? Thanks

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 30, 2018 @ 3:43 pm

      Hi Erin,

      I’ve not heard that Depo Provera is offered here. Find a “ginekološka ordinacija” (gynecologist) and ask them if they can provide it. If you will be in Split, I can recommend one, just email me. If they do not offer it, you’ll need to find an alternative option like pills or IUD (which are available). Last time I asked about Depo Provera, it was in the Netherlands 10 years ago and I was told it was banned there because “it’s essentially a horse tranquilizer”. My guess is that the influence of Catholicism here in Croatia may also have an impact on availability.

      I wish you luck!

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  6. Babs
    May 13, 2018 @ 11:52 pm

    Hi Sara, we are in Croatia for a few weeks & I am in need of seeing an ENT physician (currently in Split). Do you have to see a GP or go to the clinic/hospital 1st? I saw a doctor on our cruise ship, but the problem has worsened rather than showed any improvement, & I definitely need some test run. I just didn’t know the protocol here, when you are not a resident or under the HZZO. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      May 14, 2018 @ 12:28 pm

      Hi Babs,

      Since you are not a resident and your condition needs immediate attention, I recommend going to a poliklinika (like http://www.poliklinika-sunce.hr/lokacije/split/) or the hospital.

      Good luck and hope you feel better soon!

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

    • Babs
      May 15, 2018 @ 6:32 pm

      Sara, I just wanted to let your readers know that the Emergency Department at CLINICAL HOSPITAL FIRULE
      Spinčićeva 1, HR 21 000 SplitTel: + 385 (21) 556 111, took great care of me! The doctor was fantastic & I was seen within an hour.

      {reply}

      • Expat in Croatia
        May 29, 2018 @ 1:16 pm

        Hi Babs,

        Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m glad to hear you got great care.

        Cheers,

        Sara

        {reply}

  7. Danny
    November 26, 2018 @ 6:58 am

    Hi Sara, read this site/post,..
    Think it is admirable that you make the effort,..
    I am now in Split, will possibly stay for some weeks or months, would like to see a doctor just for dealing with a sort of cough, maybe a cold
    Once again thank you for your facility it is helpful,..

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 11, 2018 @ 12:39 pm

      Hi Danny,

      Welcome! If you send me an email, I can recommend a doctor.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  8. Flavia
    December 10, 2018 @ 3:36 pm

    Hi Sara,

    I am In Zadar for a few weeks and I need to see a gynecologist, for a check up and possibly a scan if this would be availaible. Can you recommend a doctor please?

    Thank you.

    {reply}

  9. Rach
    February 23, 2019 @ 1:18 pm

    Hello, thanks so much for your information.
    I am an expat in Zagreb in need to see an ENT doctor for ears. Does KLAPAN Medical Group count as a “Polikliniku” clinic? Are there any recommendations for ENT doctors in Zagreb?
    Could you just go there without an appointment?
    How much do these clinics usually charge?

    Thanks again for your help in advance!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 19, 2019 @ 11:15 am

      Hi Rach,

      In Croatia, an ENT is abbreviated as ORL. Full name is “otorinolaringologija”. That should help you do a web search for one in Zagreb.

      You always need an appointment. Although, if it is critical, the hospitals usually have an “ER” specifically for this practice called “ORL Ambulanta”.

      Regards

      Sara

      {reply}

  10. Michelle
    May 23, 2019 @ 11:35 pm

    Hi,

    I’m looking for an English speaking psychotherapist experienced with mental illness in the Trogir or Sibenik area as that’s where we are living. Any suggestions are helpful – preferably private and not hospital based.

    Thank-you

    {reply}

  11. Maria
    June 29, 2019 @ 12:58 pm

    Hi

    How would I go about booking a private scan of the back or body scan and a scope in split? Also any advice on prices would also help. The waiting list is over 2 years in my country and will be in Croatia on holidays this year.

    Thanks

    {reply}

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