Foreign patients’ treatment in Finland

If the customer has a municipality of residence in Finland, they will receive all public health care services for the municipal resident’s client fee. If they do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, determine the reason and duration they are staying in Finland and ask them to present a certificate of entitlement to medical care.

Every customer is always entitled to receive the emergency treatment they need in Finnish public health care, regardless of their country of origin and reason for staying in Finland.

If the customer coming from abroad has a municipality of residence in Finland, they are entitled to public health care services and non-emergency treatment in the same way and with the same client fee as other municipal residents. The client may also be entitled to public health care services under, for example, Finnish national legislation, EU legislation or international medical care agreements, even if they do not have a municipality of residence in Finland. The place of domicile is updated through the population register system. In unclear situations, the client may clarify the municipality of residence issue with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV).

Kela’s website contains a collection of information on the entitlement to treatment in public health care (in Finnish) for groups of people coming to Finland, for example, tourists, employees, family members and pensioners. Information is available in Finnish and Swedish only. On Kela’s website, you can also find information on EU legislation concerning customers coming to Finland from abroad and on international conventions on social security.

Private health care providers and independent practitioners must provide treatment to patients from EU or EEA countries or Switzerland without discrimination. The treatment must be arranged on the same grounds and for the same price as for patients in the same treatment situation who reside and are covered by health insurance in Finland. Kela’s website contains information on the treatment of foreign customers in private health care (in Finnish).

Demonstrating the right to treatment

The right to treatment is either extensive (all public health care services) or restricted (medically necessary treatment). Sometimes, the right to treatment may only refer to emergency treatment. The extent of the right to treatment is determined by the client’s length of stay or the certificate of entitlement to medical care.

Certificates of entitlement to treatment include the following:

    • European Health Insurance Card or an equivalent certificate
    • European Health Insurance Card for pensioners granted by Kela
    • Certificate of entitlement to treatment benefits in Finland
    • Passport (persons coming from a Nordic country or Australia)
    • Certificates of entitlement to medical care issued by the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland
    • Official personal identification (persons coming from a Nordic country)

Closer descriptions of certificates of entitlement to treatment can be found on Kela’s website (in Finnish). Clients without a certificate of entitlement to medical care can be charged the actual treatment costs unless they are clearly without means.

If you need help in determining the right to treatment, contact Kela’s Centre for International Affairs. The Centre can determine whether a customer coming from abroad is entitled to treatment in Finland based on EU legislation, an international convention or Finland’s national legislation. The Centre for International Affairs also provides service in matters relating to the state reimbursement of treatment costs.