Medical care in Finland

Persons who are residents of a Finnish municipality (i.e., have a place of domicile in Finland) are entitled to treatment in the public healthcare system. You will be charged the same user fee as other local residents. Your citizenship or country of origin are not relevant. Your place of domicile is registered by your local Register Office.

You can receive reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services and medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical treatment if you are covered for health insurance in Finland. Claims for reimbursement must be filed with Kela.

Persons who do not have a place of domicile in Finland or who are not covered for health insurance in Finland can still be entitled to treatment and reimbursements on some other ground. You can check your right to medical treatment and reimbursements with Kela.

Permanently resident in Finland

Those who are resident in Finland on a permanent basis usually have a place of domicile here. You receive all necessary medical treatment in the public healthcare system. If you are permanently resident in Finland but you do not have a place of domicile here, you should check your right to medical treatment with Kela.

Those who are covered for health insurance in Finland receive a Kela card. You will receive reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services. You can also receive reimbursement for the costs for medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical treatment.

Temporary stay in Finland

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

If you come to Finland temporarily from some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you are only entitled to emergency treatment. You can be charged for the costs for the treatment afterwards. You are not entitled to reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services. You will also not receive reimbursement for the costs for medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical treatment.

Working in Finland

If you come to work in Finland from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you are entitled to public healthcare services for the duration of time that you are insured for earnings-related pension benefits or against employment accidents and unemployment in Finland. If you come from some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you are entitled to public healthcare services for the duration of time that you are insured for earnings-related pension benefits, against employment accidents and unemployment in Finland, and you have a residence permit or certificate issued by the Finnish Immigration Service that gives you a 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.

If you do not have a place of domicile in Finland, Kela's Centre for International Affairs can grant you a certificate that you can show to prove your right to medical care. The certificate is called Certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland.

If you are covered by Finnish health insurance on the basis of being employed, you will receive a Kela card. You can then receive reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services. You can also receive reimbursement for the costs for medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with 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.

Workers posted to Finland 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. 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 bur live in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland are covered for health insurance in Finland. The same applies to seamen who work on board a vessel carrying the Finnish flag. You are entitled to necessary medical treatment in both Finland and 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.

Students and researchers

If you move to Finland in order to study here, you will receive medical care through the healthcare services for students. Student health services are provided by the municipal authorities at your place of study, a provider authorised by the municipality, or the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS).

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 in Finland temporarily are entitled to medically necessary treatment from the public healthcare system if they have a European Health Insurance Card.

Students from Australia who come to Finland and stay here temporarily are also entitled to medically necessary treatment in the public healthcare system. You can prove your entitlement to medical care by presenting an Australian passport or a passport of some other country, stating unlimited right of residence in Australia.

If you come to Finland from the Canadian province of Quebec as a researcher or student, you have the right to the medical care you need in the Finnish public healthcare system. You will also receive reimbursement from Kela for the costs for private healthcare services, medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical care. In order to get reimbursement, you must submit a certificate of attendance from a Finnish educational institution as well as a certificate (Q/SF4 granted by Quebec), which must be registered with Kela. When the certificate has been registered, Kela will grant you a certificate with which you can prove that you have the right to medical care in the Finnish public healthcare system. The certificate is called ‘Certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland’. If you stay in Finland for more than 90 days, you will also need a residence permit. 

If you come to Finland as a researcher from some other country than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Australia or Quebec, and you have a researcher’s residence permit, you can be covered under the Finnish National Health Insurance system and receive a Kela card. You can then receive reimbursement for the costs for private healthcare services, medicine purchases and travel costs in connection with medical care.  You are also entitled to receive necessary treatment from public healthcare providers. If you do not have a place of domicile in Finland, Kela can grant you a certificate that you can show to prove your right to medical care in the Finnish public healthcare system. The certificate is called ‘Certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland’.

If you come to Finland as a student from some other country than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Australia or Quebec, and you have a residence permit entitling you to work and also a valid employment relationship, you are entitled to public healthcare services during the period of time that you are working alongside your studies in Finland. If you do not have a place of domicile in Finland, Kela can grant you a certificate that you can show to prove your right to medical care in the Finnish public healthcare system. The certificate is called ‘Certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland’. If you are covered under the Finnish National Health Insurance system on the basis of employment, you can receive reimbursements from Kela for costs for medical care.

Students and researchers who come to Finland from some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, Australia or Quebec and who do not have the above-mentioned residence permit, are only entitled to emergency medical care. If you do not have a resident permit, you will have to pay the actual costs for medical care.

Family members

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

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 for 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 resident abroad are issued a certificate of entitlement to treatment (S1) by Kela. 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’.

Pensioners

If you move to Finland on a permanent basis, you are covered for health insurance in Finland 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 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. Present the 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 are 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 other country than 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 seekers and refugees

Medical care services for asylum seekers are arranged by the reception centres, which are maintained by the State, the municipalities and the Finnish Red Cross. The services are provided by the reception centre where you have been registered. Your medical care costs are not paid by Kela.

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 (i.e., you have a place of domicile in Finland), 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.

Further information