Explained about changing a general physician


2022 10 05


Nearly everyone covered by the compulsory health insurance are registered with one of the primary healthcare institutions and have chosen or have been assigned with a general physician regardless of how often they visit, if they do at all. Sometimes people don't even remember how they have registered and have questions on doing it and should they contact both – the current and the new polyclinic, medical centre or clinic – when they decide to change it.

Questions on changing a reimbursed general healthcare provider are often raised by the youth going for their university studies at another city in Lithuania, also residents that change their location. Regardless of the circumstances, insurance-covered persons can freely choose a public or private healthcare institution that has a general healthcare provision agreement with the National Health Insurance Fund, in any city. However, residents can be registered with and use the services, covered form the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, only at a single general healthcare institution at the same time. For accessibility purposes, it is advisable to choose one closer to the place of residence.

In case of a need to change the polyclinic, medical centre or a clinic, residents do not need to inform their current healthcare institution or take care of the transfer of their medical history to the new one. They only need to fill in an application for healthcare services at the new institution of their choice. Patients that submit this application are immediately included into the list of patients at the new healthcare institution and de-registered from the previous one. The previous healthcare institution then has 3 business days to transfer the patient's medical history to the new one.

There are a few ways to submit the application: arriving to the chosen healthcare institution with your personal identification document, sending the application to their e-mail together with a copy of the personal identification document (the application must be signed with a certified e-signature) or by logging on to the e-services gateway Some of the healthcare institutions also enable to submit this application on their electronic systems. Minors must have their applications signed by parents or carers.

People often do not know that registering with a polyclinic also means choosing their primary outpatient mental healthcare provider. They can choose these services at their polyclinic, but not all of them have their own mental healthcare centres. In such case, the polyclinic will offer another institution that they have a mental healthcare services agreement with.

Of course, patients can pick any other mental healthcare centre that has an agreement with the National Health Insurance Fund, but only within the municipality of their place of residence. If there are none, they can pick a mental healthcare centre in a neighbouring municipality within their territorial unit of the National Health Insurance Fund. Moreover, people have a right to disagree to be registered with any of the mental healthcare centres – this would also be included in the above-mentioned application. A mental healthcare centre can be changed the same as a general healthcare institution – by submitting an application to the desired treatment institution.

The same simple procedure also applies to changing one’s general physician. A specific general physician must be indicated in the application to register with the newly-selected healthcare institution, or, in case of changing the GP at the same healthcare institution, by submitting an application for treatment with another general physician.

Patients changing their healthcare institution pay 0.29 Euro for documentation, but if a polyclinic or a medical healthcare centre is changed earlier than in 6 months since the previous change, the documentation fee is 2.90 Eur. This increased fee does not apply to pupils of general education and vocational schools, also full-time college and university students changing their healthcare providers earlier than half a year while they move between their place of studies and home. Also, no fees apply to the change of the general physician.

A healthcare institution or a general physician may be changed with no application from the patient. For example, in cases, when a general physician has suspended or terminated their employment agreement, also in case of changes of their work load, or when the healthcare institution is reorganised, closed, changes its location, etc. Healthcare institutions must inform their patients of these changes no later than in one month prior the change. In these situations, patients may also choose another healthcare institution or a general physician, and, should they not, the institution will do that for them at their own discretion.

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Information of Vilnius Territorial Health Insurance Fund

The NHIF invites you:

Your questions are welcome by email [email protected] or phone: local (8 5) 232 2222, international +370 5 232 2222