Friday. 22.03.2019
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I got sick in Finland, do I have the right to medical treatment?

The requirements vary depending on if you are or not a permanent resident, worker, student, pensioner or asylum seeker. Read here a summary of the conditions for each group

I got sick in Finland, do I have the right to medical treatment?

In the unwanted event that you are in Finland and you get sick, it is possible that you will be entitled to receive medical treatment in the Finnish Social Security system.

However, you will have to meet a series of specific requirements that may vary depending on your country of origin and your situation, as it is not the same if you are in Finland, for example, as a permanent resident and have a work contract or if you are a student, a pensioner or an asylum seeker. Read below a general summary of the conditions that each group must fulfil.

Residents

According to the information that the Finnish Social Security (Kela) provides on its website, those persons who have a place of domicile in Finland (this means that they are registered as residents of a municipality) are entitled to receive treatment in the public healthcare system.

In order to apply this rule to you and be counted as one of the beneficiaries, you must have registered your domicile at your local Register Office (Maistraatti). If you have done this, then you are entitled to the same services as other local residents regardless your citizenship or country of origin and you will be charged the same user fees.

In this case you are covered for health insurance in Finland and you can also receive reimbursements for the costs of private healthcare services and medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical treatment.

You can receive direct reimbursement by presenting your Kela card. If the service provider does not have an agreement on direct reimbursement with Kela or if for some other reason you pay the costs yourself, you can claim reimbursement from Kela afterwards.

Foreigner doubt

Non residents

The persons who do not have a place of domicile or are not covered for health insurance in Finland may be still entitled to treatment and reimbursements on some grounds.

If you are one of them, you can check your right to medical treatment and reimbursements by asking Kela’s Centre for International Affairs. You can find the contact details HERE

In case of temporary stays

According to Kela, those who stay in Finland temporarily and do not have a place of domicile will receive medically necessary treatment in the public healthcare system if the person has a European Health Insurance Card.

But if you are in Finland temporarily and you come from a third country outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, then you are only entitled to receive emergency treatment. And you can be charged for the costs of this treatment afterwards.

In this last case you are not either entitled to receive any reimbursement for the costs of any private healthcare services. You will also not receive reimbursement for the costs of medicines or for any travel costs related to your medical treatment.

Men workers construction helmets

Foreign workers in Finland

If you came to Finland to work and you are a citizen form another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, then you are entitled to receive public healthcare services during the period of time that you are insured for earnings-related pension benefits or against employment accidents and unemployment in Finland.

If you came to work from some third country outside the EU or EEA or Switzerland, in addition to the requirement of being insured on the matters described in the previous paragraph, you need to have a residence permit or certificate issued by the Finnish Immigration Service that gives you the right to work. You are also entitled to medical care if you have a visa issued by a Finnish Embassy that gives you a right to work.

Workers who do not have a place of domicile in Finland can get a Certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland from Kela’s Centre for International Affairs.

When you are covered by the Finnish health insurance system on the basis of being employed, you will receive a Kela card. Then you have the right to receive reimbursement for the costs of private healthcare services, medicine purchases and travel costs connected to your medical treatment. Employees who are only covered by earnings-related pension insurance or workers' compensation are not entitled to reimbursements.

Employees who work in Finland but live in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland are entitled to necessary medical treatment in both Finland and the country of residence.

Foreigners office group work

Posted workers and diplomats

Posted workers and diplomats who move to Finland for less than one year from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland will receive medically necessary treatment in the public healthcare system if they have a European Health Insurance Card.

If you move to Finland for more than one year, you should send the certificate E106/S1 granted by the employer country to Kela. Then you will receive all necessary medical treatment in the public healthcare system.

You can also receive reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services. You can also claim reimbursement for the costs for medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical treatment.

Seamen and cross-border workers

Cross-border workers who work in Finland but live in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland are covered for health insurance in Finland. The same applies to the seamen who work on board of a vessel that carries the Finnish flag.

If you are one of those, you are entitled to necessary medical treatment in both Finland and in the country of residence. You will be charged a fee for the treatment corresponding to the fee paid by local residents.

Since you are covered for health insurance in Finland you are entitled to reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services and medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical treatment. Finland will issue a European Health Insurance Card to you.

Student man black door

Students and researchers

If you have moved to Finland in order to study, you can receive medical treatment through the healthcare services for students. Students and researchers who have a place of domicile in Finland are entitled to all public healthcare services.

Students and researchers who come from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland and stay temporarily in Finland are entitled to medically necessary treatment if they have a European Health Insurance Card.

Students and researchers who move to Finland from some third country that is not an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, Quebec in Canada or Australia are only entitled to emergency treatment. If you are in this group, you will have to pay the actual costs for the treatment.

Family members

Family members who move to Finland have a similar right to medical treatment as the family member who works or receives a pension in Finland.

If a person who is covered for health insurance on the basis of employment in Finland has family members in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, Finland is responsible for the medical care costs of those family members. A condition for this is that the family members are not covered for health insurance on the basis of employment, self-employment, or on some other basis, in their country of residence.

Family members who are residents abroad are issued a certificate of entitlement to treatment (S1) by Kela. In order to receive this benefit, they must register the certificate with the local health insurance institution. They are also issued a European Health Insurance Card by Kela.

Family members staying in Finland temporarily are entitled to public healthcare. They pay the same client fee as local residents. They are issued a certificate by Kela, and by presenting the certificate they will receive healthcare. The certificate is called ‘Certificate of entitlement to treatment in Finland’.

Grandmother children old grandchildren kids

Pensioners

If you are a pensioner and move to Finland on a permanent basis, you are covered for health insurance and a place of domicile will be registered for you here.

If you come from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland and you receive a pension from some other country than Finland, you should send a certificate E121/S1 to Kela for registration.

The certificate is granted by the country that pays you a pension. After the registration, Kela grants you a document titled Certificate of entitlement to medical treatment in Finland. Show this certificate when you contact the public healthcare services. The country that granted the certificate is charged for the medical care costs.

You will receive all necessary medical treatment in the Finnish public healthcare system. You will receive reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services. You also receive reimbursement for the costs for medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical treatment.

If you come from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland and you stay temporarily in Finland, you will be entitled to medically necessary treatment if you have a European Health Insurance Card. You will receive reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services. You can also claim reimbursement for the costs for medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical treatment.

If you come to Finland temporarily from some third country that is not an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you are only entitled to emergency treatment. You can be charged for the costs for the treatment in full.

Asylum muslim girl

Asylum seekers and refugees

Medical care services for asylum seekers are arranged by the reception centres, which are maintained by the Finnish state, the municipalities and the Finnish Red Cross. Services are provided by the reception centre where you have been registered. If you are in this situation, your medical care costs are not paid by Kela.

However, quota refugees are covered under the Finnish social security system from the date of moving to Finland. If you are a resident of a Finnish municipality, you are entitled to treatment in the public healthcare system.

If you are covered for health insurance in Finland, you will receive a Kela card. You can then receive reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services.

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