Medical care in Slovenia corresponds to European standards and is very good. Every large town or city has a zdravstveni dom (health centre) or klinični center (clinic) that operates from 7am to at least 7pm. Treatment at a public outpatient clinic costs little or nothing; doctors working privately will charge from €40 per consultation.
Pharmacies are usually open from 7.30am to 7.30pm or 8pm, and at least one in each community is open round the clock. A sign on the door of any lekarna (pharmacy) will help you find the nearest 24-hour one.
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Before You Go
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) Spread by the klop, the annoying little insect that burrows under the skin. In recent years, it has become a common problem in parts of Central and Eastern Europe, especially eastern Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Encephalitis is a serious infection of the brain, and vaccination is advised for campers and hikers who intend on staying in the woods for prolonged periods between May and September. Two doses of vaccine will give a year’s protection, three doses up to three years’. For up-to-date information, log on to www.masta-travel-health.com.
Lyme disease Another tick-transmitted infection not unknown in the region. The illness usually begins with a spreading rash at the site of the tick bite and is accompanied by fever, headaches, extreme fatigue, aching joints and muscles and mild neck stiffness. If untreated, these symptoms usually resolve over several weeks, but over subsequent weeks or months disorders of the nervous system, heart and joints might develop.
Mosquitoes These can be a real annoyance, especially around lakes and ponds in the warmer months in Slovenia. The blood-thirsty beasties might not carry malaria, but they can still cause irritation and infection. Just make sure you’re armed with a DEET-based insect repellent (prašek proti mrčesu) and wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers around dusk.
Tap water is 100% safe everywhere in Slovenia. If you are hiking or camping in the mountains and are unsure about the water, the simplest way of purifying it is to boil it for 10 minutes. Chlorine tablets will kill many pathogens. Iodine is more effective and is available in tablet form. Follow the directions carefully, and remember that too much iodine can be harmful.