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Before You Go
Make sure you take out a comprehensive travel-insurance policy that covers you for medical expenses. When choosing a policy, check whether the insurance company will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
No specific vaccinations are required for visiting Croatia.
Availability & Cost of Health Care
Good-quality health care is readily available in Croatia. EU nationals are required to present their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in order to receive heavily discounted treatment in the public system (around 10KN for a doctor's visit and a maximum of 2000KN for a hospital stay). For those not covered by a reciprocal agreement, expect to pay around 250KN for a short doctor's appointment.
Pharmacists can give valuable advice and sell over-the-counter medication for minor illnesses.
The standard of dental care is usually good, but it's sensible to have a dental check-up at home before taking a long trip.
Tick-borne encephalitis, a serious brain infection, is spread by tick bites. Vaccination is advised for those in areas of risk who are unable to avoid tick bites (such as campers and hikers). Two doses of vaccine will give a year's protection; three doses, up to three years.
- Croatia gets scorching hot in summer and there's often little shade on mountain paths. Guard against dehydration and heat exhaustion by drinking plenty of water.
- Watch for sea urchins around rocky beaches. If you get some of their needles embedded in your skin, olive oil will help to loosen them. If they are not removed, the wound could become infected. As a precaution, wear rubber shoes while walking on the rocks or bathing.
- To avoid getting bitten by snakes, do not walk barefoot or stick your hands into holes or cracks. Half of those bitten by venomous snakes are not actually injected with poison (envenomed). If bitten by a snake, do not panic. Immobilise the bitten limb with a splint (eg a stick) and firmly apply a bandage over the site, similar to a bandage over a sprain. Do not apply a tourniquet, or cut or suck the bite. Get medical help as soon as possible so that an antivenin can be administered if necessary.
Tap water in Croatia is safe to drink.