Changing the physician of your choice
After the period of one year has passed, the insured person is entitled to change the physician they previously chose. In the course of that period, they may only change their physician for certain reasonsThe physician of your choice (general practitioner, dentist, gynaecologist or paediatrician) may be changed in normal procedure one year from your last choice of physician.
In the course of that period, you may only change your physician for certain reasons:
- If you have changed your place of residence,
- If you intend to leave your place of residence for longer than three months,
- If the physician of your choice has stopped working, changed the registered address of their office or no longer has a contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF)
- If the physician of your choice has more patients than the stipulated maximum
- It there is a deterioration of the relationship between you and the physician of your choice which prevents its continuation.
Reasons for changing your physicianYou need to state the reason for changing your physician in the form of the Statement on choice/change of physician, which you can obtain in your physician’s office or download in the Documents section.
In case you have specified deterioration of the relationship as the reason for change, the validity of your application for changing the physician of your choice will be examined by a special committee. In that case, the committee members will be appointed by the head of the CHIF’s regional or branch office in your place of residence.
Choosing a physician outside your place of residenceThe insured person may choose a primary care physician outside their place of residence. However, the insured person should be aware that, in this case, they will not be able to exercise a number of rights under mandatory health insurance, such as home visits, primary care laboratory tests—except for emergency tests—home visiting nurses, health care in the insured persons’ home and non-emergency transport. Therefore, irrespective of the option to choose a physician outside the place of residence, considering the reasons mentioned, the CHIF recommends that the insured person choose a physician closest to their place of residence.
Process of changing the physician of your choicePursuant to Article 6 of the Ordinance on the manner of exercising the right to free choice of a primary care physician (Official Gazette, no. 147/14, 41/15—corrigendum and 129/17), the information from the Statement on choice/change of physician is certified in the CHIF’s regional or branch office having competence based on the registered office of the newly chosen physician’s office which submitted the Statement form.
The newly chosen physician is required to submit the signed Statements to the CHIF for the purpose of their certification and entry of the information into the CHIF’s records; however, in practice, there are situations when insured persons do this themselves.
Once the information on the choice or change of the physician of your choice has been certified, the CHIF’s competent regional or branch office delivers one example of the certified form of the Statement to the physician of your choice and one example to your previous physician of choice; that is, to the health care institution for its employee who is the physician of your choice.
When the information on the choice or change of a physician cannot be certified, the CHIF’s competent regional or branch office will notify the insured person thereof in writing, specify the reasons for which certification is not possible and provide instructions on further steps.
The insured person who chooses a physician can start using health care services of the newly chosen physician from the date of certification of the Statement information, but no later than 10 days from the date of signing the Statement. Pursuant to the Act on Medical Practice and the Dental Medicine Act, the previously chosen physician is required to hand over all of the medical records of the insured person to the newly chosen physician immediately upon the receipt of the signed Statement, but no later than within 3 days from it.