Right to healthcare services in Finland

Oikeus terveyspalveluihin Suomessa
Here you can find information about your right to healthcare services in Finland if you live or work in Finland. You can also find out about your right to care if you are staying in Finland temporarily or are seeking treatment in another Nordic country. The rules also apply to Åland.

If you live or work in Finland, you are entitled to healthcare services. If you are temporarily resident in Finland, you are also entitled to certain services. You also have the right to seek treatment from Finland in another Nordic country, or from another Nordic country in Finland.

If you fall ill while living or working in Finland

If you are registered as living in Finland in the population register, you are generally entitled to public healthcare in a health centre or hospital in your municipality of residence. You can also use private medical clinics. Employers often provide occupational healthcare for their employees. If you are a student, you can also use university and college health centres.

If you fall ill while staying in Finland temporarily

Kela card and European Health Insurance Card

The Kela card proves that you are entitled to health insurance benefits in Finland. You need the card to receive health insurance reimbursement directly at pharmacies and private medical centres. 

You can apply for Kela benefits and the Kela card on Kela’s e-services. If you have not previously applied for benefits or a Kela card and you have moved to Finland, make a notification of move in addition to applying for benefits or a Kela card. You will get a written decision on the benefits you are applying for. If your move to Finland is considered permanent, you will be sent a Kela card.

Seeking treatment in another Nordic country

If you are covered by health insurance in Finland, you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) granted by Kela. The card allows you to receive medically necessary treatment when you travel or stay temporarily in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland.

Reimbursement of expenses

When you show your Kela card, you usually receive health insurance reimbursement for medicine expenses or doctors’ fees immediately. If you do not receive reimbursement immediately, you can apply for it from Kela within six months. Use the application form to claim reimbursement. You can receive reimbursement for example for some medicines, part of private doctors’ fees and for journeys to doctors’ surgeries, health care centres, hospitals or private medical centres.

Seafarers and cross-border workers living in Finland are entitled to health care both in their country of employment and their country of residence. Healthcare expenses are met by the country where the seafarer or cross-border worker is covered for health insurance. Upon request, Kela can issue a certificate to seamen and cross-border workers of their right to healthcare benefits in Finland.

If you fall ill while staying in Finland temporarily

If you are covered by health insurance in another Nordic country and you suddenly fall ill while in Finland, you are entitled to receive care for your illness. Persons covered by health insurance in another Nordic country should receive treatment from the Finnish public health care system by showing their passport or official identity card and giving their permanent address in the other Nordic country, or you can show your European Health Insurance Card.

Seeking treatment in another Nordic country

If you want you can seek treatment in another Nordic country. You can seek treatment either with or without prior authorisation. If you do not have prior authorisation, you can often apply for reimbursement afterwards from the health insurance institution in your country of residence.

If you live in Finland and you want to seek treatment in another Nordic country

If you live in Finland and you want to seek treatment in another Nordic country, you can apply to Kela for prior authorisation or for reimbursement afterwards.

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If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.

NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.