When a doctor or a dentist decides that you require clinical examinations or treatment within specialised medical care, you can together consider the hospital or outpatient clinic to which your referral should be sent. You can choose a place of treatment in private healthcare, in which case the Social Insurance Institution – Kela will reimburse a percentage of your treatment costs.

Specialised medical care is usually the responsibility of the hospital district of your home municipality. A hospital district has a central hospital and other hospitals. You can also choose your specialised medical care provider in the public healthcare system from anywhere in Finland. The specialised medical care unit is chosen together with the doctor or dentist providing a referral.

The choice of place of specialised medical care is always made by the doctor or dentist treating you. He or she will provide a referral. He or she will assess the level of treatment you need. You cannot seek treatment at a hospital, if your illness can be treated in primary healthcare. Nor may you choose to register as a client at a hospital where the required examination or treatment is not available.

Responsibility for treatment in specialised medical care is transferred to the chosen place of treatment only on the basis of the illness or treatment need indicated in the referral. Thus, if you need specialised medical care services more than once during the same year, you may choose your place of treatment separately each time.

Kela will reimburse your travel costs to the nearest medical examination or treatment unit.

There is still little comparative data available concerning specialised medical care providers, for example, on waiting lists and client satisfaction. Statistics on access to treatment are available on the websites of most hospitals.