Medical treatment when moving to Finland

Moving from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland
Moving from a country with a social security agreement
Moving from some other country

The health care system in Finland is separated into public and private health care. Public health care is a public service which is fully or mainly financed from public means. Private healthcare services complement the public-sector services and offer alternatives. The providers of private healthcare services can offer their services to municipalities and joint municipal authorities, as well as directly to customers.

The right to treatment in the Finnish public healthcare system can be based on place of residence, EU legislation, an international agreement or Finnish national legislation.

  • If you are a resident of a Finnish municipality, you are entitled to treatment in the Finnish public healthcare system for a user fee. Your nationality or the country from which you moved to Finland is of no importance.
  • Even if you are not a resident of a Finnish municipality or entitled to medical care on some other ground, you are, however, entitled to emergency medical treatment in the Finnish public healthcare system. You may then have to pay the actual costs for the treatment.

You can also use private healthcare services in Finland. You can receive reimbursement for these costs if you are insured for healthcare benefits in Finland. If you are not insured for healthcare benefits in Finland, your right to reimbursement is affected by the country from which you moved to Finland and the situation in which you received medical treatment.

Moving from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland

If you move to Finland temporarily, i.e. for less than a year, you are entitled to necessary medical treatment.

You can prove your entitlement to treatment in the public healthcare system by presenting the European Health Insurance Card awarded by your home country. If you have moved to Finland from another Nordic country you can also prove your entitlement by presenting your passport or an ID that is accepted in your home country. If you have moved to Finland from the United Kingdom you can also prove your entitlement by presenting your passport.

  • You receive medical treatment in the public healthcare system for the corresponding user fees as persons who live permanently in Finland.
  • You can also use private healthcare services. In such cases, you have to pay the full cost yourself, but you can apply for reimbursement from your home country or from Kela. If you apply for reimbursement from Kela you have to enclose a copy of the European Health Insurance Card or your passport (persons coming from the Nordic countries or the United Kingdom) or your ID (persons from the Nordic countries) with your application.

If you are in Finland for more than a year, contact Kela to determine whether you are entitled to medical care.

If you move to Finland to work

  • for less than four months, you are entitled to use public healthcare services in Finland, provided that you are insured for earnings-related pension benefits during your employment.
  • for more than four months and your work meets the criteria for coverage by the health insurance system, you are entitled to all Kela benefits that are awarded under the Health Insurance Act.

If you move to Finland as a pension recipient

  • temporarily, i.e. for less than a year, you receive medical treatment in Finland by presenting the European Health Insurance Card awarded by the country that pays your pension.
  • permanently, i.e. for more than a year, you are entitled to all Kela benefits that are awarded under the Health Insurance Act. The country that pays your pension is liable for your medical care costs and for this purpose awards you a form E121 or S1, which must be registered with Kela.

Moving from a country with a social security agreement

Australia

Persons who are resident in Australia are entitled to immediate medical treatment while staying temporarily in Finland. Coverage by the agreement must be proven by presenting an Australian passport or a passport of some other country, stating unlimited right of residence in Australia.

Quebec

The social security arrangement between Finland and the Province of Quebec covers employees and students. Persons covered by the agreement who come to Finland from Quebec are entitled to all necessary medical treatment in Finland on the same grounds as persons who are permanently resident in Finland after having registered with Kela by presenting form Q/SF 1 or Q/SF 4 awarded from Quebec.

Moving from some other country

Moving from some other country

If you move to Finland temporarily, i.e. for less than a year, from some other country than the EU/EEA countries, Switzerland or countries with a social security agreement with Finland, you are entitled to emergency medical treatment in the Finnish public healthcare system. The degree of urgency is determined by the doctor treating you. You may then have to pay the actual costs for the treatment.

If you move to Finland permanently, i.e. for more than a year, contact Kela to determine whether you are entitled to medical care.

If you move to Finland to work for more than four months and your work meets the criteria for coverage by the health insurance system, you are entitled to all Kela benefits that are awarded under the Health Insurance Act.

For more information about the benefits, see Sickness on Kela’s website.

Last modified 29/06/2015
Updated 29/06/2015