When do you need a referral slip from a doctor?

All you need to know about referral slips for medical specialists.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo(Source: SME)

Whether electronic or in paper form, patients still need to use referral slips for now. Thus, it is advisable to know one’s rights and understand how the general practitioner’s (GP’s) recommendation for medical specialists works.

Not every specialist needs to see the referral slip before a treatment, and there are some cases when the patient will not get into the doctor’s office even with a recommendation.

What is a doctor’s recommendation good for?

The recommendation to visit a specialist is filled in for the patient by a general practitioner or another specialist.

Referral slips, called výmenné lístky (singular is výmenný lístok) in Slovak, are a pre-condition for the treatment being covered by the patient's health insurance company. A specialist must be able show the health insurer which doctor sent the patient for expert examination.

The referral slip does not serve just for administrative purposes, however. First and foremost, it should inform the specialist on the patient’s health condition, their examinations so far, as well as the GP’s possible suspicion of a specific illness. A detailed referral slip should save time for both the patient and the specialists, prevent duplicate examinations, and thus speed up the diagnostics and the treatment.

Where the referral slip can be used

College students or people who commute or travel for work do not have to rely just on specialists in the place of their permanent residence.

You do not need a referral slip if: When doctor-specialists can refuse a patient How long is the referral slip valid?

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Theme: Foreigners in Slovakia


This article is also related to other trending topics: Health care, Frequently asked questions

Top stories

Gorilla sends Slovaks back to the streets

For a Decent Slovakia protests continued in five locations around Slovakia.

Košice protest on October 18

Nicholson: Only a naive person would believe anything has changed

A former Slovak Spectator and Sme journalist wrote a book about the Gorilla file.

Tom Nicholson

Protests will take place, Pellegrini says Fico can sleep well at night

Read the reactions to the published Gorilla recording.

Smer chair Robert Fico

Two nominees for Record of the Year released within a week

Arguably, only a handful of journalists are likely to hear all 39 hours of Gorilla, but the public will no doubt jump at some sequences.

Protests over the Gorilla scandal drew thousands into Slovakia’s squares.