Why should you get a family doctor?

If you plan to stay in Tartu for a longer period (e.g. you are student and you stay for more than one semester), it is reasonable to find your own family doctor. The best is to register with a family doctor as soon as you have settled down in Tartu – it is easier to do the paperwork and make the first contact with your doctor while you are in good health rather than starting searching for one when you are already ill and you might want to have quick access and not wait too long.

Some English-speaking doctors in Tartu are:

Ruth Kalda, ask the clinic about availability; phone +372 7319 268 or + 372 58058016 or write to ylikooli.perearst@gmail.com
Tiiu Tootsi, info@perearsttiiutootsi.ee, phone +372 7455 187
Kertu Rünkorg, perearst.runkorg@gmail.com, phone +372 588 65560
Margot Tamm, perearst.margot@gmail.com, phone +372 742 1769, +372 5620 8064.

If you stay in Tartu for a short period (e.g. just a few months), you can also ask the doctor if s/he could make an appointment without registering you to her patient list. Any doctor may agree or not, but normally Dr. Tiiu Tootsi and Dr. Ruth Kalda are taking also patients outside of their registered lists.

If you can not figure out how to get a family doctor, you are most welcome to ask International House Tartu for help – write us an email (info@internationalhouse.ee) or a Facebook message and we´ll try to help.

You can also contact Tartu Health Care Service: tht@raad.tartu.ee, +372 7361 321 or +372 7361 322.

How to register with a family doctor?

Choose any doctor from the list of family doctors in Tartu and get in touch with the doctor of your choice (for example, the doctor who is closer to your home or school).

To see doctors who have free places in their directory, visit the Estonian Health Board registry. If the answer is “jah”, as shown in the picture, then the doctor has free spots.

Contact the doctor and ask if s/he has free place in their directory and agree to accept you. Be prepared that not all doctors or receptionists speak a foreign language. It is up to the doctor to agree to accept you. Some doctors might not accept a new person, and it might happen for different reasons. The doctor might not be sure of their English or his/her list is full or s/he might reject because dealing with private insurance means double work compared to national health insurance.

If the doctor accepts you, fill in the application, sign it and bring it to the doctor when you go there for the first time. The application should be in Estonian language, but you can check an example with English explanations.

Making an appointment

Always book your appointment ahead by calling or sending an e-mail (in case you don´t have different agreement with your doctor). You´ll normally get the appointment in a couple of days – in acute cases faster.
Always let your doctor or nurse know when you have booked an appointment but you cannot go.

Be on time for the appointment! If you miss your appointment, sometimes even by some 5-10 minutes, your doctor might not be able to accept you since s/he will have next patient waiting or other schedules coming up! Then you´ll have to start from the beginning and get a new appointment!

A family doctor’s visit is free of charge if you are insured by Estonian Health Fund or you have a valid EU Health Insurance card. If you have private insurance, you will normally have to pay yourself first. Upon the payment, you receive an invoice which you then take to the insurance company and claim a refund. What is covered by your insurance depends of the company you are insured with, so check with them. In some cases the family doctor can send the bill directly to your insurance company. Check with the doctor: explain what type of insurance you do have and ask, whether you have to pay first yourself or not.