In Finland, the right to use health care services is usually based on your municipality of residence. If you have lived in Finland for over a year and have applied for a municipality of residence from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, being granted a municipality of residence will also affect your healthcare services. When you have been granted a municipality of residence, you can use all services of public healthcare at the price of the client fee. Your wellbeing services county is responsible for providing your healthcare services. You can check the contact information for your wellbeing services county from the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
If you are under temporary protection, but do not have a municipality of residence, the reception centre will arrange healthcare services for you
If you have been granted temporary protection in Finland, but you do not have a municipality of residence, you will get all the healthcare services you need through the reception centre. This also applies if you live in a private home instead of a reception centre. Reception centres can either organise health services themselves or purchase them from a public or private operator. You will receive health services on the same grounds as permanent residents of Finland.
If you decide to apply for a municipality of residence, you will become a client of a wellbeing services county instead of being a reception centre client. After you have been granted a municipality of residence, the provision of your healthcare services will be transferred from the reception centre to your wellbeing services county.
As an employee, you are entitled to public healthcare
If you are residing in Finland on the basis of temporary protection and start working, you will continue to receive your health services from the reception centre. However, if you are granted a residence permit on the basis of employment, you can use the services of the Finnish public healthcare system at the client fee set for a municipal resident. In this case, ask Kela to determine your right to healthcare in Finland.
If you decide to apply for a municipality of residence, you will become a client of a wellbeing services county instead of being a reception centre client. After you have been granted a municipality of residence, the provision of your healthcare services will be transferred from the reception centre to your wellbeing services county. You do not have to ask Kela to determine your right to health care in Finland, because after you have been granted a municipality of residence, you will automatically get the right to use the services of the Finnish public healthcare system.
As a tourist, you are entitled to urgent medical care
If you have not registered your right of residence in Finland, you can stay in Finland for 90 days as a tourist without a visa. In this case, you are entitled to urgent medical care within the Finnish public healthcare system. You are responsible for the costs of your treatment. Be aware that the costs of treatment may be high. Additional information is available on the webpage Falling ill when travelling in Finland.
With a Kela card you get direct reimbursement for prescription medication and private health care services
In all of the situations listed above, you can also choose to use private healthcare services in Finland at your own expense. Once you have lived in Finland for a year, you can apply for a Kela card from Kela. With the Kela card, you can get the medication that a doctor has prescribed for you from a pharmacy at a lower price. With the Kela card, you can also be reimbursed for costs of private medical care. More information about reimbursements is available on the Kela website.
Kela can reimburse you for costs of medicine and private healthcare even before you have been in Finland for a year, if you are covered by health insurance in Finland on the basis of things such as work.
Be aware of the following issues:
- If you are not sure of your right to medical treatment in Finland, you can contact Kela’s Centre for International Affairs.
- Frequently asked questions and instructions for how to apply for benefits are available on Kela’s webpage How the war in Ukraine affects the benefits available from Kela.
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