You are entitled to…

Science and healthcare

You are entitled to…

06. 06. 2019 12:41

Almost all foreigners who study, work or own a business in Slovakia are the clients of one of these three health insurance companies: Dôvera, Union or Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (VšZP). Not so many foreigners know that they are also entitled to a series of regular preventive check-ups as part of their coverage as following:

All those older than 18:

A general preventive -check -up (preventívna prehliadka- in Slovak) at their GP every 2 years (those who are regular blood donors every year). An annual check -up at the dentist is on offer too ; in fact it's highly recommended to go for it as the insurance company links the coverage of dental treatment to whether you underwent one the year before.

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All insures older than 50 can take a so called occult blood test every 2 years in order to check for any signs of bowel cancer. Some may be even receive an invitation and the test in an envelope at home if they happen to be included in the population based screening programme launched in Slovakia this year. If this is the case then take the test and no -later than three days afterwards visit your GP with it. Depending on the result you will be either sent home -if it's negative- or to a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy if the test is positive.

Even if you did not take the test you are also entitled to a preventive colonoscopy on its own every ten years if you are older than 50.

Those with a family history of colon cancer should undergo check-ups more often based on their agreement with a gastroenterologist.

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Ladies are entitled to an annual preventive check up to a gynaecologist. You do not need to be referred to him/her by your GP, simply find one and make an appointment.

Ladies aged 18 to 39 can also undergo a sonography of their breasts every two years. Those with a family history of breast cancer can use additional methods such MRI scans, blood tests etc. based on the recommendation of their gynaecologist.

Ladies aged 40 to 69 are entitled to a mammography once every two years and depending on its results to an additional sonography.

A population based screening programme for breast cancer is to be launched in Slovakia this autumn.

Ladies aged 23 to 64 are entitled to screening for cervical cancer as part of their preventive check-up at their gynaecologist. First two tests are done once per year and if they are negative then one test every three years.

A population based screening programme for cervical cancer should be launched in Slovakia by the end of the year.

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Gentlemen are entitled to preventive check-ups at an urologist in order to detect early signs of prostate and testicular cancers. Starting at the age of 15 they are encouraged to self-examine their testicles and in case of any unusual features they should consult a doctor. Starting at the age of 40 those with a family history of cancer should discuss with their urologist the set of preventive check-ups and their frequency. Men older than 50 with no family history of testicular or prostate cancers are entitled to preventive check-ups at their urologist every three years.

Anca Dragu, Photo: TASR

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