Well over a million British people travel to Cyprus (or more formally the Republic of Cyprus) for holidays each year. Not least because it is blessed by year-round sunshine, glorious beaches and a warm, welcoming culture.
Unfortunately, not every visitor has a completely idyllic vacation there. You can find yourself in need of medical attention due to an illness or injury. This is when your Republic of Cyprus UK Global Health Insurance Card is vital in certain parts of the country.
This guide explains ‘What is a Republic of Cyprus GHIC?’. It also shows you how to use your card, and the best way to progress a Republic of Cyprus GHIC application.
First, why should you even bother getting a Republic of Cyprus GHIC?
The importance of a Republic of Cyprus UK GHIC Card
Though tourism is massively important to the island of Cyprus, there is still a possibility that visitors could face hefty medical bills for even the most basic health services.
You may consider the risk is worth it if you don’t have a GHIC. After all, Cyprus offers clean beaches, crystal clear seas and a deeply romantic history, especially around places such as Ayia Napa. What could be more alluring than a day spent exploring the Greek ruins and breathtaking landscape of Cyprus, followed by an evening in a taverna serving delicious Greek or Turkish food? Or, visiting one of the lively bars in Cyprus, where every night is party time!
This country is viewed as one of the safest in Europe, but even here accidents happen, especially if you choose to take a road trip around the island, hike off the beaten track or ski on the slopes of Mount Olympus. Even city breaks to its capital Nicosia or stays in popular Limassol, Larnaca, Famagusta or Paphos are not without their perils!
The minute you need to visit a doctor or hospital, your Republic of Cyprus Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will bring substantial peace of mind in many parts of the island.
A Republic of Cyprus GHIC replaces an EHIC
If you have already travelled to Europe, you may well have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This covers various countries as part of a reciprocal health services agreement. This agreement ended when the UK left the EU. However, it has been replaced by a similar arrangement called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
At present, this scheme only covers the 27 members of the EU and the UK. It may be extended to other countries as it evolves.
It means that when you go through the Republic of Cyprus GHIC application, you can then use your card for future trips to that country and other nations within the agreement.
Incidentally, if you have a still valid EHIC, you can continue to use that for your trips. When it expires, you would then apply for a Republic of Cyprus GHIC card or Ireland GHIC card.
Also, please be aware this scheme does NOT replace travel insurance, and it is not valid across the whole of Cyprus. We will outline what a Republic of Cyprus GHIC entitles you to later.
Who can make a Republic of Cyprus GHIC application?
To apply for a Republic of Cyprus UK Global Health Insurance Card, you must be a UK national.
The process of getting your GHIC card like an Italy GHIC card involves applying for one using a specialist agency for convenience and speed such as us. You will be asked to prove your identity, address and citizenship.
You can apply for a GHIC card for yourself, your partner and your children, as long as you have the evidence mentioned above. Each traveller needs their own Republic of Cyprus GHIC.
What does a Republic Of Cyprus UK GHIC Card do?
The benefits of a GHIC are still taking shape, but they are likely to be similar to an EHIC. Before your trip to Cyprus, it is recommended that you get up to date information on the health services available on the island, and your entitlement under the Republic of Cyprus GHIC agreement.
It is possible that your Republic of Cyprus GHIC will not be officially recognised in the Northern part of the island – the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
However, elsewhere, your Republic Of Cyprus UK GHIC Card provides you with free health services. That only applies though if you visit state-funded doctors and facilities. In other words, you will still face considerable medical bills if you visit a private healthcare provider in Cyprus.
In the areas of the country covered by your Republic of Cyprus Health Insurance Card or Latvia GHIC card, you should be provided with treatment, ambulance transport and even medications free of charge when you use public health providers.
Frequently asked questions
What happens if I can’t show my Republic of Cyprus GHIC card?
A lost, stolen or forgotten card does not have to be a disaster. It is still possible to access free health services in some parts of Cyprus if you have completed your Republic of Cyprus GHIC application before your trip.
You would need to ring the NHS Overseas Healthcare Services on +44 (0)191 218 1999. This helpline is available Monday to Friday, between 8a m and 6 pm. Using your National Insurance Number to validate that you have a Republic of Cyprus GHIC, they will email or fax a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) to you.
Can my tour rep or hotel help me to use my Republic of Cyprus GHIC?
If you have an injury or illness on holiday in Cyprus, you can ask your travel company or hotel to help you access medical help. Be careful though, as they may direct you to private healthcare providers not covered by your GHIC card! If you are taken to hospital by ambulance, show your card immediately so you are not automatically registered as a private, paying patient.
What replaces a Republic of Cyprus GHIC in the Northern area?
If your visit is to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, it is likely your GHIC card will not be valid. This is one of the many reasons travel insurance is still so important, including policies which provide medical assistance.