The right of international students to use student health care services in Finland will change from 1 January 2021 

18.12.2020

A legislative amendment that enters into force on 1 January 2021 will affect the services of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS), introducing changes to the right of international students to use FSHS services. In the future, you can use the services if you are studying for a degree at a university of applied sciences or university and you have registered for attendance for the term. If you are an exchange student coming to Finland from abroad, you do not have the right to use FSHS services. 


From 1 January 2021, the Finnish Student Healthcare Service (FSHS) will organise student health services not only for students of universities, but also for students of universities of applied sciences. You can use FSHS services if you are studying for a degree at a university of applied sciences or university and you have registered for attendance for the term. Every student in higher education who is entitled to use FSHS services must pay a health care fee to Kela. Please note that you are obliged to pay even if you are studying remotely from abroad, if you have registered for attendance. FSHS also provides students with electronic services and remote appointment services that can be used by students living abroad. Further information on paying the fee can be found on the Kela website.

If you are a student coming to Finland from another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Australia or Quebec, Canada, you will also be eligible for treatment in public health care and you will receive reimbursement for the costs of private medical care, medicines and travel from Kela.

Municipal health care is largely responsible for the health care of exchange students

If you are an exchange student coming to Finland, you do not have the right to use FSHS services. Municipal public healthcare is responsible for the health care of exchange students in universities of applied sciences and universities who come from the following countries:

  • Exchange students from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland.
  • Students coming from the United Kingdom, if they have their own certificate of entitlement to medical care issued by the UK. The card must contain the Finnish country code (FI).
  • Exchange students who live in Australia and are covered by the health insurance there.
  • Exchange students from the province of Quebec, Canada.

You can demonstrate your right to public health care services as follows:

  • If you come from an EU or EEA country or from Switzerland, show your European Health Insurance Card.  Get the card from your own health insurance institution before you come to Finland.
  • If you come from the United Kingdom and have your own certificate of entitlement to medical care issued by the UK, show it to the care provider. The card must contain the Finnish country code (FI).
  • If you come from another Nordic country, you can also prove your entitlement to treatment with an official ID card.
  • If you come from Australia, show your Australian passport or a passport from another country that indicates your unlimited right of residence in Australia.
  • If you come from Quebec, Canada, you must register the certificate provided by your health insurance institution at Kela. Kela will give you a certificate that you can use to demonstrate your right to treatment within Finland’s public healthcare.

If you come from outside the aforementioned countries or areas, you do not have the right to public health care services, except for urgent care. Get private medical expenses insurance, which allows you to use private health services in Finland.  Exchange students covered by public health care should also take out medical expenses insurance, which covers, if necessary, more extensive treatment than public health care (for example, longer periods of medical care, repatriation).