Medical care of refugees and asylum-seekers in Finland

Reception centres are responsible for arranging health care services for asylum-seekers. Refugees will receive treatment within the Finnish public health care system once the Digital and Population Data Services Agency has registered a municipality of residence to them. Refugees who have been granted a residence permit are covered by the Finnish health insurance, in which case they are also entitled to receive Kela reimbursements for private health care, medication and travel costs.

Health care services for asylum-seekers

Health care services for asylum-seekers are arranged by the reception centres maintained by the state, municipalities and the Finnish Red Cross (SPR). The reception centre whose customer register the person is registered in is responsible for arranging the services. The reception centres usually have a public health nurse and the reception centre also purchases health care services from the private sector, municipality or the joint municipal authority. Kela is not responsible for the costs of medical care provided to asylum-seekers.

If a foreign citizen who has received reception services is not granted a residence permit or their temporary protection ends, their entitlement to reception services ceases within a specific time frame.

Refugees’ right to health care services

Authorities will indicate a municipality of residence in Finland for refugees. Once a place of residence has been granted, the refugee has the right to use all public health care services in the same manner as other Finnish residents for the client fee of the wellbeing services county. A refugee may also move to a municipality of their choice after receiving a permanent residence permit.

A refugee who receives a residence permit will be health insured in Finland and granted a Kela Card. In this case, they are entitled to receive reimbursements from Kela for the costs of their medical care.

Tortured refugees and asylum-seekers can receive treatment at the Centre for Psychotraumatology in Helsinki and the Rehabilitation services for torture victims (website in Finnish) in Oulu.

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