Restricting the admission to treatment of patients coming from abroad

In exceptional situations, a municipality or joint municipal authority can limit the admission of persons from other EU countries into a public health care unit if the availability of treatment to municipal residents is compromised. In practice, this can mean a situation where the time limits within which municipal residents must be able to access treatment have been exceeded.

The limitation of admission can apply to an individual part of health care operations with regard to which the limitation is justified. This means that the limitation can be applied to a specific treatment queue or the services of a particular special field. The limitation cannot cover all operations of a unit at the same time – an entire hospital or health centre, for example.

An administrative decision must be issued on limiting admission.

  • The decision can be valid for one year at a time, after which it can be renewed if necessary.
  • Notification of the decision must be sent to the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), the Regional State Administrative Agency and the contact point for cross-border health care, which can be notified by e-mail (yhteyspiste(at)
  • The effective limitations are published in this online service in the section  Seeking treatment in Finland.

The limitation of admission does not concern patients who are entitled to treatment based on EU legislation

The limitation of admission only applies to cases where a person comes to Finland from another EU country for the express purpose of seeking treatment.

The limitation of admission does not apply to the following cases

  • The person in question is entitled to medically necessary treatment during his/her temporary stay in Finland. This means that the person with a European Health Insurance Card granted by another EU or EEC country or Switzerland is entitled to treatment due to a sudden onset of illness or the deterioration of a chronic illness during his/her temporary stay in Finland (during a holiday trip, for example). Temporary residents of Australia are also entitled to medically necessary treatment while temporarily staying in Finland.
  • The person is entitled to all necessary medical treatment in Finland even though he/she resides permanently in another EU or EEC country or Switzerland. In these cases, the person is usually a pensioner whose treatment costs are covered by Finland and to whom Kela has granted a European Health Insurance Card.
  • Based on employment, the person is entitled to health care in Finland even though he/she does not reside in Finland. For such persons, Kela grants a certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland, which indicates the person’s right to treatment and the scope of this right.

If a health care unit has decided to limit the admission of patients from abroad, the limitation also applies to the patients coming to Finland for treatment who have prior authorisation from another EU or EEC country or Switzerland (form S2).