The European Health Insurance Card is not required in the Nordic countries from people who are covered by the Finnish social security system. Therefore, receiving treatment in Denmark usually only requires that you present your identity card (such as a passport, official identity card or driver’s licence) or a valid Kela Card.
Treatment covered by public healthcare is usually free of charge. If you did not have an identity card when seeking treatment and had to pay full price, you can apply for reimbursement retrospectively by contacting the local social services and healthcare (social og sundhed) service point before leaving Denmark. In order to receive reimbursement, you need to present all the original receipts and your identity card or Kela Card.
Information on healthcare is available from the Danish Ministry of Health (Ministeriet for sundhed og forebyggelse). Practical information in Danish is also available in the healthcare system portal Sundhed.dk and in the citizens information service Borger.dk.
You can see a general practitioner who has an agreement with Denmark’s public healthcare. The practices are usually open on weekdays between 8:00 and 16:00. Some practices are also open on one evening of the week. You can see a specialist after receiving a referral from a general practitioner. Showing your identity card will entitle you to free treatment by both general practitioners and specialists. During urgent attacks of illness that occur after 16:00 on weekdays, you can see an on-duty doctor (lægevagt). Lægevagten’s website contains contact information for the on-duty doctors.
A general practitioner can provide you with a referral to a physiotherapist or psychologist, which allows you to receive compensation for the costs. You can see a chiropractor without a referral. A percentage of the chiropractor’s fee will be reimbursed.
If you require an interpreter, mention this when making a reservation. In this case, the Government of Denmark will arrange for an interpreter who may charge you for the service.
You can see a dentist who has an agreement with public healthcare. Show your identity card at the practice. Reimbursement is available for specific standard treatments and it will be deducted directly from the dentist’s invoice. Please note, however, that some procedures (such as prosthetic teeth or crowns) are not reimbursed at all. You will usually be required to pay a deductible of 35–60 %. The level of reimbursement varies by treatment. Dental care is free in Denmark for patients under the age of 18, and patients under the age of 26 receive a higher amount of reimbursement than older patients.
The amount of reimbursement for prescribed medicines depends on which medicines have been prescribed to you and the amount of money that you have spent on medicines over the calendar year. Show your identity card and prescription at the pharmacy.
Once the total sum of purchases exceeds DKK 925, you will receive your prescribed medicines at a discounted rate. You are liable for the costs of medicines up to DKK 925.
- Purchases totalling DKK 925–1,515 will be reimbursed by 50 %.
- Purchases totalling DKK 1,515–3,280 will be reimbursed by 75 %.
- The portion exceeding DKK 3,280 will be reimbursed by 85 %.
For patients under the age of 18, medicines will be reimbursed by 60% up to DKK 1,515, after which the level of reimbursement is similar to that of adults.
If necessary, a doctor will provide you with a referral for free hospital treatment. In case of emergency, you can go directly to the first aid of a public hospital or a “skadestuen”, which treats acute injuries from the past 24 hours or illnesses that started during the same time period. In such a case, show your identity card and request that the hospital provide you with free treatment. Most Danish hospitals have a first aid station, but there are some hospitals that have no walk-in clinics. Please also note that the first-aid clinics of some hospitals require advance notification by phone before arrival.
Urgent ambulance transport to the nearest hospital is free.
Returning to Finland (specific to the Nordic countries)
If your illness requires you to use a more expensive means of travel than normal when returning to Finland (such as a type of special transport), you are entitled to receive reimbursement from Denmark. The reimbursement will cover the share of your travel costs that was caused by the more expensive means of travel. In other words, you will pay the same price for the return trip as you would have done when using your normal means of travel (when fully healthy). The prerequisite for the reimbursement is that you receive a doctor’s certificate from Denmark before your return trip, and that it indicates why the more expensive means of travel is required.
If you are required to pay full price
If you are required to pay full price for public healthcare treatment that should have been covered by the European Health Insurance Card, you can apply for reimbursement retrospectively. You can apply for reimbursement either from the health insurance institution of the destination country or from Kela on form SV 128.
The website of the National Contact Point of Denmark contains information on seeking treatment in Denmark.The website also has a list of the country’s public hospitals and contact information of the patient advisors in each of the five regions in Denmark.
Most of the general practitioners, specialists and dentists provide treatment for public insured patients in Denmark according to regional agreements. However, they will also accept private patients who pay for the treatment themselves. More information concerning the healthcare professionals in a specific municipality or region is available on the website Sundhed.dk. The site is available in Danish.
The association for private hospitals and clinics in Denmark (Brancheforeningen for Privathospitaler og Klinikker, BPK) has a member base of 26 private hospitals and clinics operating in Denmark. The BPK association’s website (only available in Danish) contains links to the hospitals’ websites, where you will find information on the treatment provided by each hospital and the prices of the treatments.
Practices and costs related to treatment
A referral l is usually required from a general practitioner (GP) or specialist to obtain treatment in Denmark in a public hospital. A referral from a doctor operating in Finland will be accepted in such cases.You can contact the regional patient advisors in Denmark for more information. Please provide all the necessary information concerning the planned treatment in the request for information.
The prices in Danish public hospitals are usually fixed (also known as DRG prices) and they are the same in all hospitals. Price information can be found (in Danish) on the website of the Danish Health Data Authority (Sundhedsdatastyrelsen).
Price information for private doctors, dentists and hospitals can usually be found on the service provider’s website.
Quality and safety of treatment
The website of the public authority for patient safety (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed), includes information about all health care professionals registered in Denmark. In the register you can check if a sertain doctor or other health care professional has a valid registration and whether he or she is for example under supervision.
On the website of Danish Health Data Authority (Sundhedsdatastyrelsen), you can find information about the clinical guidelines for treatments.
If you have received erroneous or deficient treatment at a Danish public or private hospital, clinic or other place of treatment, you can file a complaint with the Danish Patient Safety Authority, Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed. You can report malpractices and other detriments related to treatment to the Danish patient insurance centre Patient Compensation Association (Patienterstatningen).
The Danish Institute for Quality and Accreditation in Healthcare (Institut for Kvalitet og Akkreditering i Sundhedsvæsenet, IKAS) maintains and develops the Danish Healthcare Quality Programme (Den Danske Kvalitetsmodel, DDKM). The DDKM sets the quality standards for accreditation in healthcare and develops methods for measuring and supervising quality. More information is available on IKAS website.