I want to go abroad for treatment

You are free to travel and use health care services abroad. You are entitled to access treatment in another EU country in the same way as the residents of the country. You can seek services of both primary health care and specialised medical care and you can also receive treatment for a chronic condition.

There will be amendments to the reimbursement model for seeking treatment independently. The bill is currently being processed by Parliament. It is envisaged that it will come into effect in 2023. Further information: the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

You can use the local public health care services of another EU or EEA country in the same way as the residents of the country in question. In addition, providers of health care services in Switzerland decide independently on whether to accept clients from abroad for treatment.

However, the EU countries are not obliged to offer the following health care services to clients seeking treatment from abroad:

  • long-term care and other services aimed at providing support to an individual in ordinary daily activities
  • organ transplants
  • vaccines and vaccination programmes.

You can travel to another country for medical care either independently or with a prior authorisation.  If you seek treatment independently (without a prior authorisation), Kela will reimburse retrospectively the costs of treatment given in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland in the same manner as for private health care given in Finland. If you travel abroad for treatment with a prior authorisation, you will pay the same client fee as local residents. Seeking treatment with a prior authorisation is more affordable to the patient, but there are terms for granting a prior authorisation.

Patients are accepted for treatment and treatment is arranged in accordance with the legislation of the country in question. Clarify thoroughly in advance the procedures and payments involved in practice relating to the treatment. Explore the good to know section, which provides information on how to use health care services abroad.

Seeking treatment outside EU and EEA countries and Switzerland

You can travel abroad for treatment in countries other than the EU member states, but access to treatment depends on the legislation of the destination country. In other countries the treatment provider is not obliged to accept you for treatment if you have travelled to the country for the purpose of accessing health care services. Please note that from 1 January 2021 this will also apply to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Kela does not reimburse treatment costs, if you have travelled for treatment in countries other than the EU or EEA member states or in Switzerland.