European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EE-2022-11/2303 – measures in Estonia

Free initial health checks for Ukrainian refugees

Terviseteenused Ukraina põgenikele

Country Estonia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 07 March 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Access to healthcare
Author Ingel Kadarik (Praxis Center for Policy Studies) and Eurofound
Measure added 17 May 2022 (updated 20 September 2022)

Background information

All Ukrainian war refugees who have received temporary protection can access health insurance and thus health services on the same conditions as local citizens (e.g. via employment or registration as unemployed). However, all refugees have the right for initial health checks for which €20 million is provided from the state budget.

Content of measure

Upon entering Estonia, the reception points will refer the refugees (adults as well as children) to general free health check-up. The check-up includes interviews, medical examinations, infection checks and tests. The results of the health examination are documented in the health information system. If needed, the patients are referred to specialist care for continuous treatment in case of chronic or on-going condition. It is possible to receive a medical certificate, which is required for employment in certain positions. Refugees are also provided free vaccinations as well as free treatment and help regarding abandoning drug use or continuing treatment for HIV and tuberculosis.

In addition, Ukrainian refugees can buy prescription medicines using their original prescriptions as long as the pharmacists understand which medicine is prescribed to the person. Narcotic and psychotropic drugs are excluded.

Use of measure

The use of the measure is rather low. As at 3 May 2022, there were around 23,000 refugees with living permit in Estonia of whom 1,500 have undergone the medical examination.

By 8 September 2022, the number of refugees who have used the service was 7,976.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No involvement.

Views and reactions

Not available.


  • 07 March 2022: Teave Ukraina sõjapõgenikele (Information for Ukrainian refugees) (
  • 03 May 2022: Tervisekontrolli on läbinud ainult 1500 Ukraina sõjapõgenikku (1,500 refugees have undergone health check) (
  • 08 September 2022: Ukraina sõjapõgenike tervishoiuteenuste kasutus (Use of health services for Ukrainian war refugees) (


Eurofound (2022), Free initial health checks for Ukrainian refugees, measure EE-2022-11/2303 (measures in Estonia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.