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Work of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies

Health services

How are the medical specialist treatment visits organised in health care institutions?

Specialist appointments and scheduled treatments take place, but hospitals and health care facilities have different requirements for admissions, examinations, and procedures, such as a negative corona test or wearing a mask.

Detailed information on the requirements of a health care institution can be found on the website of the medical institution or calling the institution´s information number. You can also contact your family doctor or call the family doctor hotline 1220.

In healthcare facilities, it is recommended to keep your distance, wash, or disinfect your hands, wear a mask, use the HOIA mobile app.

People diagnosed with the coronavirus, as well as their family members or other people living with them, must stay at home.

Where can a foreign national receive health advice in English if they do not have a family doctor in Estonia?

A foreign national staying in Estonia can get advice in case of simpler health problems, instructions for first aid and, if necessary, information on health care organisation by calling the family doctor's information line at +372 6346630 (free of charge if the foreign national has a contract with a local telephone operator and a certain amount of call minutes are part of the contract), when in Estonia, calling the helpline 1220 (price per minute 30 cents in Elisa network, 23 cents per call minute in Tele2 network and 22.78 cents per call minute in Telia network). Caller waiting list may be up to 45 minutes.

On the family doctor's information line, family doctors and family nurses provide advice 24/7 hours a day in both Estonian and Russian. Advice in English is offered every day from 3 pm to 5 pm.

In case of symptoms of the coronavirus, foreign nationals staying in Estonia, and persons without health insurance must contact the nearest family doctor centre. If viral diseases of the upper respiratory tract are suspected (fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing), patients are treated whether they are on the patient list of this centre or not - this is an emergency aid that every general physician must provide. The family doctor then decides whether a test for coronavirus is required.

It is also possible to take coronavirus test for a fee, without consulting a family doctor. There are several testing service providers who offer tests for a fee: Confido , Medicum , SYNLAB , Qvalitas Arstikeskus - this is not an exhaustive lists.

How can a foreign national get tested for the coronavirus, if they do not have a family doctor in Estonia?

Foreign nationals and persons without health insurance residing in Estonia must contact the nearest family doctor centre if they display symptoms. Through the family doctor, all patients with symptoms of upper respiratory viral diseases are referred for testing, regardless of age, co-morbidities and health insurance, including patients who are not on the family doctor's list.

Patients with symptoms of upper respiratory viral disease (regardless if they have a family doctor on register or not) can also turn to the general practitioner’s helpline 1220 (Monday-to-Friday 24/7, including public holidays), where they will be referred to a doctor for COVID-19 testing, if necessary (letters of referral will be issued from Monday to Sunday 8am to 22pm). On the family doctor's helpline, family doctors and family nurses provide advice in both Estonian and Russian. Advice in English is offered every day from 3 pm to 5 pm.

Testing is performed for a fee for foreigner nationals, at the airport and ports it costs 52 euros, elsewhere according to the service provider's price list (ranging from 58-75 euros). Testing for a charge is done by:

More detailed information can also be found at

Important information:

  • Wearing a mask when giving the sample is mandatory.
  • Please come to the test at the exact agreed time (neither sooner nor later).
  • Results are usually returned within 24 hours after the sample has been given, as arranged by the testing authority;
  • The results are also available to people with an Estonian personal identification code in the environment.
  • The test results are reported by the laboratory to the Health Board, which contacts people who have tested positive.
  • The Health Board recommends remaining in self-isolation until the results have returned.

Turn to your family doctor only if it is necessary


Because of the spread of the coronavirus, many of us are anxious and the work load of family doctors has grown. If possible, avoid turning to the doctor so that those who really need help would get the attention of the doctor.

Don’t buy up a massive amount of over-the-counter medicines


There is no reason to suspect that the pharmacies’ stocks of over-the-counter medicines will run out, so it is not necessary to buy up medicines that you currently do not need to use.

Keep a distance with the pharmacist


If you are turning to a pharmacist, keep the maximum distance possible and follow the rules of hygiene (turn your face away when you sneeze or cough and cover your nose and mouth with your hand).


Family doctor

Health insurance

What kind of benefits (if any) befall to the medical staff and their family in case an employee suffers health damage or dies in the line of duty?

The state does not provide for any specific compensation in these circumstances. Medical professionals work according to the Employment Contracts Act and earn benefits according to their work contract, so it depends on agreements between employer and employee.



Are the pharmacies open and what should I know when going to a pharmacy?

Pharmacies are open as usual. When visiting a pharmacy, it is obligatory to wear a mask, or cover your nose and mouth and follow the 2+2 rule. It is recommended to disinfect your hands and use the HOIA mobile application.

You must not go to the store or pharmacy while ill.

Medicines can be bought contact-free from an online pharmacy. More information on online pharmacies and placing orders can be found on the website of the State Agency of Medicines: .

Dental care

Are dentists receiving patients for scheduled treatments? What are the rules for dental care?

Scheduled dental treatments are allowed There are rules in place to prevent the spread of the infection.

When you arrive at the clinic, you must disinfect your hands and you must allow for your temperature to be taken (using a contactless method), and you must also complete the COVID-19 health declaration.

If you have any symptoms of a respiratory disease (cough, runny nose) and/or fever, you will not be able to go to the scheduled treatment.

Come to the appointment alone and on time, if possible. One person may accompany an underage patient or a person needing attendance. If you arrive early, you may be asked to wait outside the clinic, keeping the distance of at least 2 metres from other visitors.

It is very important to use all the necessary precautions in the dental office, as the procedures result in a continuous aerosol cloud covering all items within a radius of up to five metres. In such an environment, the risk of spreading infection is very high and due to that the safety measures are stricter.

In case of acute dental pain, first consult your dentist, who can advise you by phone and, if necessary, prescribe medication or provide emergency treatment, if possible.

You have the option of contacting the dental clinics who have a contract with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund for free emergency dental treatment - contacts can be found on the Health Insurance Fund webpage. Registration for appointments is necessary to ensure safety.


Private health institution


Last updated: 14 November 2020