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Due to the fact that Ukrainian nationals are applicants for international protection, they are entitled to have access to emergency healthcare which they can claim by providing a proof of entitlement to temporary protection. The latter is issued by the administrative unit in the area where a temporary protection applicant is staying, and such proof or card allows them to exercise their rights under emergency healthcare.

Exercising emergency healthcare rights for Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainian nationals are, either as international protection applicants or those who have entered the Republic of Slovenia due to the war situation, entitled to have access to emergency healthcare, which they can claim by providing a proof of entitlement to temporary protection. A Ukrainian citizen shall first contact the nearest police station (within three days of arrival), where they present their identity document and apply for temporary protection. The police will forward the application and any supporting documents to the administrative unit in the area where the applicant for temporary protection is staying. After all the essential information has been verified by the administrative unit, the person is issued a temporary protection card which allows them to access emergency healthcare.

Article 27 of the Temporary Protection of Displaced Persons Act sets out the right to healthcare for beneficiaries of temporary protection, providing them with access to:

  1. emergency medical care and emergency ambulance transport, and the right to emergency dental care;
  2. emergency treatment as decided by the attending doctor, which includes
    • preservation of vital functions, stopping severe bleeding or preventing exsanguination;
    • prevention of a sudden deterioration of health that could cause permanent damage to individual organs or disruption of vital functions;
    • shock treatment;
    • treatment of chronic diseases and conditions which, if left untreated, would lead directly and in a short period of time to disability, other permanent health impairments and death;
    • fever treatment and preventing the spread of infection that could lead to sepsis;
    • poison prevention and treatment;
    • treatment of bone fractures or sprains and other injuries requiring medical attention;
    • prescription-only medicines appearing on the positive list that are prescribed for the treatment of the above conditions;
    • emergency transport by ambulances and other vehicles in the above situations;
  3. medical necessities performed within the framework of specialist outpatient and hospital services;
  4. women's healthcare which includes:
    • contraceptives;
    • pregnancy termination;
    • health services during pregnancy and childbirth;
  5. mandatory medical examinations prior to the inclusion of students in education and during their primary and secondary school education; the same applies to citizens of the Republic of Slovenia.

In addition to the above, a medical committee appointed by the Head of the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants may, in duly justified cases, give an approval for a larger scope of health services. In this case, an international protection beneficiary shall submit to the Office an application for approval of a larger healthcare package, along with any supporting documents required. If the person is granted a larger scope of health services, they shall present the approval document when visiting a doctor, a pharmacy or any other healthcare facility.

Healthcare costs are covered by the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants.

For more information on the procedure, please visit the website: Help for Ukrainian Nationals in Slovenia.

Health services covered by emergency healthcare

Patients shall primarily contact the nearest health centre, emergency centre or emergency outpatient clinic in a health centre. Health services covered by emergency healthcare are provided by all specialist clinics, outpatient clinics in health centres, and all outpatient clinics providing emergency medical care. In emergency situations, people will be assisted without presenting a temporary protection card or other identification documents.

Procedure for obtaining medicines for Ukrainian refugees

Emergency healthcare also includes obtaining medicines for all the aforementioned conditions and for all chronic diseases and conditions. A doctor working in an emergency centre or emergency room will write a prescription if needed. When visiting a pharmacy, a Ukrainian citizen or their representative is requested to present a prescription and temporary protection card of the applicant seeking international protection, on the basis of which they are given a certain medication. Instead of submitting a temporary protection card, temporary protection beneficiaries can also present a copy of their passport or other identification document (e.g. a guest registration certificate).

A request to register with a GP practice and have a personal doctor

In the event that persons are employed in the Republic of Slovenia, they have all the rights arising from compulsory and voluntary health insurance (in this case, the right to have a personal doctor and dentist).

Infections with HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus

Infections with HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) may present no signs and symptoms for several years, thus infected individuals are unaware of chronic infection and may eventually develop various life-threatening conditions. Persons that were exposed to different risk factors for infection during their lifetime could get infected; HIV, HBV and HCV infections are particularly common in individuals with a high-risk behavior. In Slovenia, the infected persons are managed according to the highest standards of care and all the recommended medications are available and accessible.

In Ukraine, HIV, HBV and HCV infections represent a considerable public health problem. In all persons with already known diagnosis of chronic HIV infection or/and chronic hepatitis B or/and chronic hepatitis C, the treatment that has been introduced in Ukraine should be continued in accordance with the clinical guidelines. In those who have so far been unaware of infection and potentially exposed to any risk factor, it is of utmost importance to actively screen for HIV, HBV and HCV and in case of confirmed infection offer an appropriate medical care.

To help displaced people from Ukraine detect any risk factors for getting infected with HIV, HBV or HCV, a person-friendly questionnaire was prepared by  National Viral Hepatitis Expert Board, Clinic for Infectious Diseases and Febrile Illnesses, University Medical Centre Ljubljana. It is meant only for personal use as a guide based on personal responses for possible future actions, such as testing and acquiring appropriate medical care and treatment in case needed.