If you are temporarily staying in Denmark, you are entitled to medically necessary treatment. Residents of the Nordic countries may also be entitled to medically necessary treatment in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Medically necessary treatment refers to treatment that cannot wait for your return to Finland. You may need it, for example, because of an acute illness or accident. You can also receive treatment relating to pregnancy, childbirth or chronic illness. The need for treatment must emerge during the course of your stay.
You will receive treatment on the same terms and at the same price as local residents. If your illness requires regular treatment while you are temporarily staying in Denmark, contact the Danish health care provider in advance and agree on arranging the treatment. Treatments that need to be arranged in advance include, for example, dialysis, oxygen therapy, specialised care of asthma and chemotherapy as well as echocardiography in chronic autoimmune diseases. Regional patient advisors (national contact points) can direct you to the correct health care provider if during your temporary stay in Denmark you require care that must be arranged in advance.
Permanent residents of Finland do not need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in the Nordic countries. Therefore, showing your valid identity card and stating your current address is usually sufficient for receiving treatment in Denmark (incl. Greenland and Faroe Islands). An identity card can be a passport, an identity card issued by the police or a driver’s licence.
Treatment covered by public healthcare is usually free of charge for people residing permanently in a Nordic country. If you did not show your ID when you went for the treatment, and because of this you paid the full price for your treatment, you can apply for reimbursement later on. Before leaving Denmark, contact the social and health services in your place of residence and present all the original documents and an identity card or Kela card. Alternatively you can apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively.
When you need a doctor, see a general practitioner who has an agreement with public healthcare. Nearly all GPs are self-employed and have an agreement with public health care. The practices are usually open on weekdays between 8:00 and 16:00. Some practices are also open on one evening of the week. You can see a specialist after receiving a referral from a general practitioner. Showing your identity card and stating your current address in Finland entitle you to free treatment by both general practitioners and specialists. If you require an interpreter, mention this when making a reservation and one can be provided for you. You may have to pay for the interpreter.
A general practitioner can provide you with a referral to a specialist. You do not need a referral to see an otorhinolaryngologist or an ophthalmologist.
During urgent attacks of illness that occur after 16:00 on weekdays, you can see an on-duty doctor (lægevagt). Lægevagten’s website (in Danish) contains contact information for the on-duty doctors. Laegevagten in the capital area is Akuttelefonen 1813 (website in Danish).
You can see a dentist who has an agreement with public healthcare. Show your identity card and state your current address in Finland at the practice.
In dental care, you get reimbursement for certain treatments. The reimbursement is deducted directly from your dental bill. Please note, however, that some procedures (such as prosthetic teeth or crowns) are not reimbursed at all. Dental care is free in Denmark for children and young people under 18 and, from 2022, also for 18-year-olds. Patients under the age of 26 receive a higher amount of reimbursement.
The amount of reimbursement for prescribed medication depends on which medication have been prescribed to you and the amount of money that you have spent on medication over the calendar year. Show your identity card, state your current address in Finland and prescription at the pharmacy.
You can purchase prescription medication from a Danish pharmacy with a prescription from any EU and EAA country. However, the prescription must meet certain information requirements, which you can find on the website of the Danish Medicines Agency (Lægemiddelstyrelsen).
If necessary, a doctor will provide you with a referral for hospital treatment. In case of emergency, you can go directly to the first aid of a public hospital (skadestuen, Akutklinik or Akutmodtagelse) which treats acute injuries from the past 24 hours or illnesses that started during the same time period. In such a case, show your identity card and state your current address in Finland, and request that the hospital provide you with free treatment. Most Danish hospitals have a first aid station, but there are some hospitals that do not have walk-in clinics. Please also note that the first-aid clinics of some hospitals require advance notification by phone before arrival. You can find more information about the different regions’ accident and emergency departments from the citizens’ information service.
Urgent ambulance transport to the nearest hospital is free.
Returning to Finland (specific to the Nordic countries)
If you fall ill so that you have to return to Finland by a more expensive means of travel (e.g. special transport) than you would have normally used, you are entitled to receive reimbursement from Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland). The reimbursement will cover the additional cost incurred from the more expensive method of travel. In other words, you will pay the same price for the return trip as you would have done when travelling healthy. The prerequisite for the reimbursement is that you receive a doctor’s certificate from Denmark before your return trip, and that it indicates why the more expensive means of travel is required.
Read more about suddenly falling ill in Europe.
Read more about reimbursement of costs of treatment abroad.
If you want to travel to Denmark to use healthcare services there, you should read our website for general information about seeking treatment abroad.
The website of the coordinating National Contact Point of Denmark contains information on seeking treatment in Denmark. The website also has contact information of the five national contact points (patient advisors) in each of the five regions in Denmark.
Most of the general practitioners, specialists and dentists provide treatment for public insured patients in Denmark according to regional agreements. However, they will also accept private patients who pay for the treatment themselves. More information concerning the healthcare professionals in a specific municipality or region is available on the website sundhed.dk (in Danish).
The prices in Danish public hospitals are usually fixed (also known as DRG prices). Price information can be found in Danish on the website of the Danish Health Data Authority (Sundhedsdatastyrelsen). The National Contact Points in the five regions can provide more information about the price for the treatment in question.
Information on health care in Denmark is available from the Danish Ministry of Health (Sundhedsministeriet) and on the citizens’ information service.
Quality and safety of treatment
The website of the public authority for patient safety (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed), includes information about all health care professionals registered in Denmark. In the register of health care professionals you can check if a certain doctor or other health care professional has a valid registration and whether he or she is for example under supervision.
If you have received erroneous or deficient treatment at a Danish public or private hospital, clinic or other place of treatment, you can file a complaint with the Danish Patient Complaints (Styrelsen for Patientklager). You can report malpractices and other detriments related to treatment to the Danish patient insurance centre The Danish Patient Compensation (Patienterstatningen).
The public healthcare system of Denmark operates across three levels: state, regions and municipalities. Publicly financed healthcare covers all primary, specialist, hospital and preventive care, mental health care, long-term care services and dental services for children under age 18. Since 2022, young people who have turned 18 are also entitled to free dental care. Under state supervision, the five regions are primarily responsible for hospitals, general practitioners and psychiatric care whereas municipalities are responsible for a number of primary healthcare services and elderly care.