Hospital transfer from abroad to Finland

If you have received medical treatment abroad and require a hospital transfer to Finland for further treatment, the transport costs must be agreed upon in advance. The implementation of hospital transfer is discretionary, and the arrangements are usually handled by the care provider.

In the event that the transfer is made primarily of your own will, you are normally responsible for the transport costs. If the matter has been agreed upon in advance, however, another party, such as the receiving hospital or an insurance company, may cover the costs or pay a portion of them.

Only if you are being treated in a public health care facility in another Nordic country can the transfer be arranged based on the Nordic Convention on Social Security without you paying the transport costs yourself. In this case, the treatment provider will examine the means of implementing the transport with the health insurance institution of the country in which the patient is staying.

Kela reimburses costs connected to hospital transfer from the country border, airport or harbour to a hospital in Finland. Reimbursement can be paid when you have paid the transport costs yourself.

Transfers between hospitals in Finland

The treatment provider may transfer you for treatment to another treatment facility in Finland. If you have come to Finland from abroad and have been registered as a patient in the public health care system, the hospital transfer is free of charge in the following cases:

  • You are covered by health insurance in another EU or EEA country, United Kingdom, Switzerland or Australia and you require medically necessary treatment during your temporary stay in Finland.
  • You live in another EU or EEA country, United Kingdom or Switzerland but Finland covers the costs of your medical treatment.
  • You received treatment in Finland under a prior authorisation granted by your country of residence (form S2).

If you are not a registered patient in a hospital, you are liable to pay the costs of your transport. You can claim reimbursement retroactively from Kela or your own health insurance institution.

Transfer of a person in long-term treatment from another Nordic country

If you are in long-term institutional care in another Nordic country or are receiving other long-term care through social services and would like to move to Finland, the Nordic Convention on Social Security may be applicable to the organisation of your move.

The purpose of the convention is to enable clients in need of continuous treatment or care to move to a country to which they have special ties. The convention applies to the move of clients in need of long-term treatment or care from other Nordic countries.

The arrangement of your treatment, its costs and the transfer of the responsibility for them is agreed upon in the agreement regarding your move. This agreement is made between the authority responsible for social services in the Finnish municipality and the treatment provider in another Nordic country. The liability for costs may be transferred on the day of the move, or a six-month transition period may be agreed.

In addition to this, the agreement usually involves determining who will pay for your travel and how assistance will be provided for you during the trip.