Healthcare in Cyprus 

Cyprus is a member of the European Union and is located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The country prioritises healthcare, and actively promotes preventative medicine. The healthcare system is trusted not only by local residents, but also by foreign nationals who travel to Cyprus for health reasons.

Cyprus is fast gaining popularity as an expat destination, and many of the country’s medical professionals are expats themselves, or locals who were trained in the United Kingdom.

Before venturing to another country, make sure you have a health insurance plan you can rely on. Our international health insurance plans offer comprehensive health cover for when you are in your home country and abroad.

Cyprus has an excellent healthcare system, and it’s deemed by the World Health Organization to be on a par with those of other developed countries.

Government hospitals are located in all major Cypriot cities. Smaller government-run hospitals and clinics are present in other areas of the country. There are also a number of private hospitals throughout the country.

Healthcare is generally inexpensive. Medical services are provided by three sectors: the government, the private sector, and several other schemes covering certain sections of the population. State hospitals offer free services, but private health insurance remains popular among expats.

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 by 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.

Primary care is delivered in both urban and rural areas through a network of 38 health centres, sub-centres and dispensaries of various levels based on location and size of population served. Thirty of these are rural and scattered all over the island, while eight are urban and located in the Nicosia District.

Ambulatory-care services are also delivered by the outpatient departments of five district- and two specialised hospitals.

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 a 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.

Anyone working in Cyprus, regardless of nationality or residency, must register for social insurance with the District Labour Office, which will issue the expat a medical card.

Payment for drugs and laboratory tests are made with the use of "health stamps" that have to be purchased in advance and will be affixed to drug prescriptions and laboratory test forms. Health stamps are available at public hospitals and post offices.

Non beneficiaries (non-medical card holders) can still use the services of public hospitals by paying a small fee for visiting a general practitioner or specialist. For any other service, one has to pay the prescribed fees as laid down by regulation.

European Union nationals who paid social insurance in their home countries for a certain minimum period will be given access to free healthcare, but this will only be for a limited period of time.

There are many pharmacies in Cyprus, especially in highly populated areas such as Paphos, Larnaca and Limassol.

Cypriot 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 a day if medication is needed.

There aren’t any significant health hazards in Cyprus. It’s recommended that expats get all routine vaccinations such as those for measles, mumps, rubella and diphtheria, as well as for Covid-19, before travelling to Cyprus. Annual flu vaccinations are also recommended.

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.

In emergencies expats can dial one of two numbers: 112, which is the general emergency number for EU countries; or 199, the local emergency number in Cyprus.