STORY: Read about how the right to treatment works in practice

Falling ill on holiday in Europe

Eveliina’s stomach flu on holiday in the Canaries

Eveliina has travelled to the Canary Islands for a one-week holiday with her parents. After spending two days there, she gets stomach flu. The stomach ache persists, so Eveliina visits a medical clinic nearby. She has her European Health Insurance Card and checks to make sure that the medical clinic accepts it.

The doctor diagnoses Eveliina with stomach flu and prescribes her medication and rest. Eveliina pays the local client fee for the visit. She also has travel insurance and, after the holiday, she claims reimbursement of the client fee she paid.

Eveliina visits the local pharmacy to buy the medicine prescribed by the doctor. By using her European Health Insurance Card, she also gets the medicine at the same price as local residents.

Grounds for Eveliina’s right to treatment

Eveliina is covered by Finnish national health insurance, so Finland pays the costs of her medical care and has granted her a European Health Insurance Card. The card is valid in the EU and EEA countries, Switzerland and UK. By using the card, Eveliina receives medically necessary treatment in the same way and for the same fee as local residents. Spain will charge the rest of the costs from Finland. Medically necessary treatment refers to treatment that cannot wait for the person’s return home from abroad. The doctor will assess the need for treatment in relation to the duration of the person’s stay abroad.

Kela also reimburses some of the costs of medicines purchased abroad. Since Eveliina has received medically necessary treatment during temporary residence in an EU country, she is also entitled to buy medicines at the same price as local residents using her European Health Insurance Card.

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