Assistive devices abroad

If you fall ill during a trip and need an assistive device, the treatment provider will usually provide it for you. In this case, the assistive device may incur charges to you. If you move abroad, you can usually take with you an assistive device assigned to you. If you need a new assistive device after moving, you can acquire one in your new country of residence or, under certain circumstances, also from Finland.


If you fall ill during a trip and need an assistive device, the treatment provider will usually provide it for you

If you fall ill abroad and receive urgent or other medically necessary care, you can obtain an assistive device from the treatment provider. Countries may have very different practices regarding the procurement and provision of assistive devices. In some countries, an assistive device is part of treatment. For example, in the Nordic countries the treatment provider provides patients with crutches directly. In some countries, you have to purchase or hire assistive devices.

If you are moving to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland

If you are moving to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland, you can take with you all assistive devices in your use. Agree on the service of the assistive devices with your new country of residence. Your right to have your assistive devices serviced in Finland or to receive new ones from Finland is usually based on the Local Register Office’s entry concerning municipality of residence.

  • If you have a municipality of residence in Finland or if Finland is responsible for your treatment costs after your move, you can have your assistive devices serviced, repaired or replaced within the public health care system when residing in Finland. You are responsible for the costs of bringing the assistive device into Finland. If you require a new assistive device, you can apply for one either from your new country of residence or from the Finnish public health care system. If you want to have a new assistive device from Finland, you will be responsible for its transportation costs.
  • If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland and Finland is not responsible for your treatment costs after your move, you cannot, as a rule,  have your assistive devices serviced, repaired or replaced in Finland. However, you can take the assistive device with you abroad. If you require a new assistive device after your move, you have to find out the possibility of getting one in your new country of residence.
  • If you have been assigned a significant assistive device or prosthetic before moving, Finland may, subject to certain EU conditions, be responsible for the maintenance costs of the significant assistive device also after your move. Significant assistive devices include assistive devices that have been tailor-made for you. If you are not sure whether your assistive device can be classified as a significant assistive device, please contact Kela. If you have been assigned a significant assistive device, but you have not yet received it at the time of moving, you will retain your right to an assistive device regardless of the move.
  • However, please note that maintenance of a significant assistive device does not include repair of the assistive device but refers to other maintenance requirements the assistive device may have. These include, for example, fine-tuning of a hearing aid or additional training for a guide dog.

Usually, you can also get the assistive device you need in your new country of residence. Assistive devices are assigned under local legislation. The health insurance institution or other authority responsible for health care in the destination country is usually best qualified to provide additional information about obtaining and procuring assistive devices.

If you move outside EU or EEA countries or Switzerland

If you are moving outside EU or EEA countries or Switzerland, you can take with you all assistive devices in your use. Your right to have your assistive devices serviced in Finland or to receive new ones from the Finnish public health care system is usually based on the Local Register Office’s entry concerning municipality of residence.

  • If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can have your assistive devices serviced, repaired or replaced within the public health care system when residing in Finland. If you require a new assistive device, you can apply for one either from your new country of residence or from the Finnish public health care system. If you want to have a new assistive device from Finland, you will be responsible for its transportation costs.
  • If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, you may not have an assistive device in your use serviced in Finland. However, you can take the assistive device with you abroad. If you require a new assistive device after your move, you have to find out the possibility of getting one in your new country of residence.

If, after moving, you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, and you move from Finland outside EU or EEA countries or Switzerland, your right to obtain new assistive devices from Finland ceases. You may obtain necessary assistive devices for personal use based on local legislation of the destination country or under private insurance or at your own expense.

If your assistive device breaks while you are abroad, you will be responsible for its repair

If your assistive device breaks while you are abroad, you will be responsible for its repair. The relevant Finnish authorities will not usually reimburse the costs of servicing or repairing assistive devices abroad, nor will they arrange for a repair to be carried out abroad. Also, the relevant Finnish authorities are not obliged to provide you with a new assistive device abroad. If you are entitled to an assistive device in Finland and you wish to receive a new assistive device from Finland to replace the broken one, you will be responsible for arranging the delivery of the assistive device and for the cost of its transportation.