Treatment costs in public health care

You can receive information concerning the prices of public health care services from the health centres and hospital districts. Usually, you will pay the same fee for the use of public health care services as the residents of that municipality. Your municipality of residence will cover the actual costs of treatment.

If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, public health care may, under some circumstances, collect your treatment costs from Kela, but you are ultimately in charge of your own treatment costs.

The actual costs of providing the service are substantially higher than the client fee you pay.

Client fee for residents of a municipality

If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can use all public health care services. The client fee charged for treatment is the same for all residents regardless of their citizenship or the country from which they arrived in Finland.

You will usually receive an invoice for the client fees to your home address. Alternatively, you can receive an invoice for the client fee at the place of treatment. In some public health care units, you can pay the client fee directly in cash or with a debit card.

As a rule, health care client fees are fixed. The client fee for public health care will not vary according to the actual cost of the health care service that you use or the treatment that you receive.

As regards customer fees, there is some variation between municipalities, but maximum amounts have been set as follows (2020-2021):

  • Outpatient treatment: €41.20 per visit
  • Hospital fee for short-term inpatient care: €48.90 per day
  • Day surgery procedure: €135.10
  • Treatment in a psychiatric hospital: €22.50 per day

Public health care can invoice an appointment that has been reserved but not used.

Free public health care services

Legislation defines free public health care services for which a client fee will not be charged.

The client fee is not collected for the following basic health care services:

  • Health inspections and health advice
  • Birth control advice and other services promoting sexual health
  • Screenings
  • Maternity and child health clinic visits
  • School and student health care
  • Vaccinations that are part of the national vaccination programme
  • Laboratory and X-ray examinations with a referral from public health care
  • Sailor health care organised by Hamina, Helsinki, Kemi, Kotka, Oulu, Pietarsaari, Pori, Rauma, Savonlinna, Turku and Vaasa
  • Medical care services provided within basic health care:
    • Disease research, medical or dental diagnostics, treatment, treatment supplies required for treating a chronic illness in accordance with a treatment plan and the necessary medical rehabilitation
    • Preventing and curing illnesses and relieving pain
    • Guidance that supports the patient’s commitment to treatment and self-care
    • Early identification of health problems, treatment and guidance for follow-up treatment for patients who require special support, research and care.
  • Mental health work
    • Guidance and advice related to factors that may protect an individual’s mental health or endanger it, as well as the necessary psychosocial support for an individual and their family
    • Coordination of psychosocial support for individuals and communities in sudden, shocking situations
    • Mental health services referring to research, treatment and medical rehabilitation of mental health disorders.
  • Medical rehabilitation, including:
    • Advice and guidance related to rehabilitation
    • Assessment of ability to function and ability to work as well as need for rehabilitation
    • Rehabilitation research
    • Therapies aimed at improving and maintaining ability to function and other actions taken in order to promote rehabilitation
    • Assistive devices and their fitment, renewal and maintenance
    • Adaptation coaching
    • Rehabilitation periods during inpatient and outpatient care.
  • Emergency medical treatment which is the responsibility of the hospital district (with the exception of medical transport)
  •  Treatment provided in a psychiatric outpatient unit
  • Treatment and upkeep provided for respiratory arrest patients and transport related to the treatment
  • According to the Communicable Diseases Act:
    • Vaccinations
    • Research of hazardous communicable diseases
    •  Treatment and prescribed medicines
    • Isolation of infected patients or suspected carriers of the disease
    • Research and treatment of HIV infections, gonorrhoea and sexually transmitted chlamydia infections
    • Medicines prescribed for the treatment of patients with a reportable communicable disease.
  • Examinations and care for donors of human organs, tissues or cells
  • For persons under the age of 18
    • Dental care
    • Medical care and upkeep when the number of treatment days exceeds seven per calendar year
    • Medical rehabilitation provided in series and hyposensibilisation, speech and voice therapy, radiation therapy, cytostatic therapy and other similar therapies
    • Continuous dialysis treatment.
  • The transport of a registered patient from a health centre or hospital to another place of treatment or home care when the transport is done using a medical transport vehicle and according to a doctor’s orders
  • Treatment materials and supplies intended for the treatment of a chronic illness.

There is a maximum amount for public health care client fees

There is a maximum amount (information only in Finnish) for public health care client fees. After the maximum amount has been exceeded, the services included in the maximum amount are usually free until the end of the calendar year. If you have paid more than the maximum amount for these services during the calendar year, you are entitled to receive a refund for the payments exceeding the maximum amount.

The amount is reviewed once every two years.

The following are not included in the maximum amount:

  •  Dental care fees
  •  Medical transport fees
  •  Fees for doctor’s certificates
  • Fees for laboratory and imaging examinations made with a referral from a private doctor.

You need to keep track of the amount of your client fees over the course of the calendar year. If the amount of your client fees exceeds the maximum amount, you will receive a certificate for this from the municipality’s or joint municipal authority’s unit that produces health services included in the maximum amount.

The maximum price to be invoiced is the actual cost incurred by the provision of the service. A profit margin cannot be added to the service price.

If a health care professional considers that providing treatment requires arranging interpretation, this will usually be arranged by the treatment provider. The costs of interpretation are also part of the costs of treatment and may be invoiced from your municipality of residence or another party responsible for your costs of treatment as part of the service provision costs.