Health care service providers must accept persons coming for treatment from another EU in the same way as Finnish residents. The admission of persons coming for treatment from other EU countries can only by restricted in exceptional situations.
Those coming to Finland for treatment from another EU country are usually responsible for the treatment costs themselves. If they have prior authorisation for treatment in Finnish public health care from another EU or EEC country or Switzerland (form S2), they do not need to pay the treatment costs.
Persons residing in another EU or EEC country can also receive treatment for the municipal residents’ client fee if Finland is responsible for covering their treatment costs. Such persons have a certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland granted by Kela or a European Health Insurance Card for pensioners with a lime green back.
- The treatment need of persons coming from another EU country to seek treatment in Finland is assessed in the same way as that of Finnish residents.
- The treatment is provided based on a tiered arrangement in either basic or specialised health care.
- Persons coming for treatment from another EU country are accepted in the same treatment queue as those residing in Finland.
- The time limits for access to treatment apply to both Finnish residents and persons coming to Finland for treatment from other EU countries equally.
Patients coming from outside the EU can be accepted if the treatment provider has available treatment capacity
Patients from outside the EU can be admitted to public health care operating units for non-emergency treatment if they have available treatment capacity. However, there is no obligation to admit patients from outside the EU. Therefore, there is no obligation to admit patients coming to Finland for treatment from another EEC country (Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein) or Switzerland.
The right to seek treatment in another EU country is based on the EU Patient Directive (2011/24/EU). The directive has been instituted in Finland through the Act on Cross-Border Health Care (1201/2013) as of 1 January 2014.
Emergency treatment must always be provided regardless of the place of residence or nationality of the patient in question.
Treatment provided as a purchased service
Public health care is obliged to accept persons coming from another EU country to seek treatment regardless of how the health care services are provided. Therefore, a person who has come to Finland from another EU country to seek treatment must also be accepted into treatment obtained as a purchased service.
- The person seeks treatment according to the normal procedure. If necessary, he/she must be directed to a purchased service on the same grounds as municipal residents.
- The patient must normally cover the treatment costs. The municipality or joint municipal authority will charge the patient the same cost as it pays to the third-party service provider.
- If the person has prior authorisation (form S2) for treatment provided in public health care and the treatment covered by the authorisation is arranged as a purchased service, he/she will receive the treatment in question for the client fee charged from municipal residents. The municipality or joint municipal authority can apply for state compensation for the treatment costs from Kela once they have first been reimbursed to the provider of the purchased service.