Pre-hospital emergency care in Finland

Pre-hospital emergency care is part of the healthcare service. The hospital districts organise pre-hospital emergency care in their area.

Pre-hospital emergency care refers to the urgent treatment given to a patient who suddenly becomes ill or has been injured and, if necessary, transportation of the patient for follow-up care. The pre-hospital emergency care staff start treatment, if needed, already at the location where the patient has fallen ill or has been injured.

An ambulance can be called throughout Finland by dialling the emergency number 112. The Emergency Response Centre will answer and, if necessary, send an ambulance to the location.

The wellbeing services counties can provide prehospital emergency medical services themselves or together with another wellbeing services county. In certain respects, the wellbeing services county can also procure prehospital emergency medical services from a private service provider. Private service providers must have a licence for their operations granted by a Regional State Administrative Agency or the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira).

Helicopter emergency medical services

In Finland, helicopter emergency medical services are part of the prehospital emergency medical services. FinnHEMS Oy, which is a non-profit company owned by the State, is responsible for flight operations and the bases. The wellbeing services counties and HUS Group that maintain university hospitals are responsible for the personnel, equipment and medicines. The HEMS units operate out of Vantaa, Turku, Oulu, Tampere, Kuopio, Rovaniemi and Seinäjoki.

Kela reimburses patients for travel costs relating to treatment retrospectively

Kela reimburses patients retrospectively for treatment-related travel costs incurred. Travel costs are usually paid on the basis of the least expensive way of reaching the nearest health centre, university hospital or private health centre.

Reimbursement can usually be credited to you directly in ambulances and taxis.