Residents of other EU or EEA countries or Switzerland
You can obtain medically necessary treatment by presenting the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when you are temporarily staying in Finland. Medically necessary treatment refers to treatment that cannot wait for your return home. You may need such treatment in case of acute illness or accident. You can also receive treatment related to pregnancy and childbirth or to a 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 the locals.
If your need for treatment is not urgent, you can contact the local health centre. Health centres are usually open Mon–Fri 8.00–16.00. At other times, the emergency departments of hospitals provide urgent care.
In Finland, public healthcare services are provided by the wellbeing services counties. An exception to this is Helsinki, where the services are provided by the City of Helsinki. The contact information of health centres can be found on the wellbeing services counties’ websites and the contact information of the health centres in Helsinki can be found on the City of Helsinki website. You can also search for healthcare services in the Suomi.fi service.
You will receive medically necessary treatment in the same manner and for the same customer fee as residents of Finland when you present a European Health Insurance Card at the hospital or health centre.
As regards customer fees, there is some variation between wellbeing services counties, but maximum amounts have been set as follows (2022-2023):
- Outpatient clinic fee: €41.80 per visit
- Daily hospital fee: €49.90 per day
- Day surgery procedure: €135.90
- Treatment in a psychiatric hospital: €22.80 per day
Residents of other Nordic countries
In public healthcare, you can demonstrate your right to medically necessary treatment using an official identity card or passport. Your permanent address of residence must be in another Nordic country.
Residents of the United Kingdom or Northern Irland
If you arrived from the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland and are staying in Finland temporarily, you can prove your right to medically necessary treatment with any of the following cards:
- European Health Insurance Card issued during the EU membership of the United Kingdom or the Brexit transition period
- Citizens Rights Card
- Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
Residents of Australia
If you permanently reside in Australia, you are entitled to receive medically necessary treatment within public healthcare during your temporary stay in Finland. You will receive treatment within public healthcare at the same customer fees as Finnish residents by presenting your passport. Your permanent address must be in Australia.
You can also use Finland’s private healthcare services and Kela will reimburse you a proportion of the costs of medically necessary treatment.
Residents of other countries
You are entitled to emergency treatment in Finland’s public healthcare system. You are liable for the full costs of the treatment. You can also use private healthcare services at your own cost.
If you are in need of a doctor, contact a local health centre. Present your European Health Insurance Card and ID at the appointment. Health centres also have nurses who can treat wounds or prescribe medicine in less severe cases.
When the health centre is closed, urgent care is provided at emergency care units at large health centres and hospitals. Emergency care units provide care in situations in which the care cannot be postponed without aggravating the illness or injury. If you are not sure whether your situation requires a visit to the emergency care unit, you can call the Medical Helpline telephone service at 116117. The Medical Helpline provides free-of-charge telephone service in the area of several wellbeing services counties, around the clock. You can check the service’s area of operation on the Medical Helpline’s website (in Finnish). In an emergency, always call the emergency number 112.
In private healthcare, you can book an appointment with a general practitioner or specialist directly. Private doctors and dentists set their own prices. Normally you will pay for the treatment upfront.
If you need dental treatment during your stay because of an accident or illness, contact a local health centre. You will have to present a valid European Health Insurance Card to receive treatment at the same cost as a resident. You can also use private dental care at your own cost.
You can buy medicines at pharmacies (apteekki). Finnish medical prescriptions are electronic – doctors do not issue paper prescriptions. If you have a paper prescription from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, take your prescription to any pharmacy. YYou have to pay full price for medicine. A prescription issued in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland may also be electronic. At the moment, prescription medicines prescribed in Estonia, Croatia, Portugal, Poland and Spain with an electronic prescription can be purchased at Finnish pharmacies.
You can find the contact information of all pharmacies in Finland in the Apteekkihaku search service (in Finnish).
You may be asked to show your European Health Insurance Card at the pharmacy. Once you have paid for your prescription, you will get a receipt.
Read more about medicinal treatment and prescriptions in Finland.
If you are covered by health insurance in another EU or EEA country, the United Kingdom or Switzerland and have paid for the costs of medically necessary treatment in Finland’s private healthcare, you can apply for reimbursement from your own health insurance institution or from Kela. You can also apply for reimbursement for medicine and travel costs related to medically necessary treatment you have received in private or public healthcare. Kela reimburses these costs in the same manner as for residents of Finland.
Kela does not reimburse the costs you pay for public healthcare treatment. If you have paid the full costs of your treatment in Finland’s public healthcare despite presenting your European Health Insurance Card, you can ask the hospital or health station to correct the invoice. Alternatively, you can apply for reimbursement from your local health insurance institution.
In other reimbursement-related issues, such as if you have sought treatment in Finland at your own initiative or come from outside the EU/EEA area, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland ask your local health insurance institution for more information.
If it is not an emergency, you can only access specialised medical care with a doctor’s referral. In an emergency, you can also go directly to a public hospital´s emergency department.
- The referral can be provided by a health centre doctor or a private healthcare physician if they deem that you require treatment provided in the specialised medical care system. In the case of non-emergency care, you can, together with your doctor, choose the hospital to which the referral will be sent.
- A referral written in another EU country can be accepted if it includes the information needed to assess your treatment requirements. The referral should be written in Finnish or Swedish. The treatment provider can also accept a referral written in another language. If you seek treatment in Finland from another EU country, send the referral directly to the treatment provider. You shall pay for all possible translation costs.
- Based on the referral, a professional will assess your need for care and whether you will be admitted in a specialised medical care unit. The unit must assess your need for care within three weeks of receipt of the referral.
Show your European Health Insurance Card and ID at the hospital. If you come from outside the EU, EEA, the United Kingdom or Switzerland, show your passport or other valid ID.
Private hospitals do not accept the European Health Insurance Card. If you have received medically necessary treatment in a private hospital, you can apply for reimbursements from the health insurance institution of your country of residence or Kela.
If your condition requires an ambulance, call 112. If you have a European Health Insurance Card, present it at the ambulance. You will pay the deductible of EUR 25. If you do not have a European Health Insurance Card, you must pay for the actual cost of the transport. Transfers between hospitals are usually free of charge.
If you want to travel to Finland to use healthcare services here, you should read our website for general information about seeking treatment in Finland. If you have any questions about healthcare in Finland, contact the Finnish National Contact Point.
Quality and safety of treatment
In Finland, healthcare operations are supervised by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira and Regional State Administrative Agencies. The pharmaceutical sector´s supervisory authority is Fimea. In addition, healthcare organisations have the obligation to supervise their operations themselves.
According to the Finnish Health Care Act, services provided by the healthcare system must be of high quality, safe and appropriately organised. Every health centre and hospital must draw up a plan for quality management and the implementation of patient safety. This includes a system through which the healthcare unit reports and follows up incidents occurring in treatment.
You can claim compensation for treatment injuries related to care provided in Finland from the Patient Insurance Centre.
Read more about the supervision of healthcare in Finland.
In Finland, public healthcare services are provided by the wellbeing services counties. An exception to this is Helsinki, where the services are provided by the City of Helsinki. A wellbeing services county can provide the services independently or in collaboration with other wellbeing services counties. It can also procure services from a private company or an organisation.
Healthcare services are also provided by private companies, independent professional practitioners and organisations. Kela reimburses some private healthcare costs to persons residing in Finland and covered by Finnish health insurance.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health steers healthcare in collaboration with the agencies and institutions under it. Public healthcare services are funded by tax revenue and client fees charged for services.