Pregnancy and childbirth abroad

You can obtain medically necessary treatment relating to pregnancy and childbirth by presenting the European Health Insurance Card in an EU or EEA countries or in Switzerland. You can also travel to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland to give birth.


Giving birth in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland

If you are temporarily staying in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and you require obstetric care, you should be able to obtain treatment in the public health care system by presenting your European Health Insurance Card. The European Health Insurance Card can be used in public health care. You will pay the same client fee as local residents. Temporary residence usually refers to a stay of less than six months abroad.

The client fees for obstetric care vary in each country. In some EU countries obstetric care is free in the local public health care system.

If you pay the costs linked to a delivery that occurred unexpectedly during a temporary stay yourself, you can receive reimbursement either from the health insurance institution that provided treatment or from Kela. If you seek reimbursement from Kela, the expenses can be reimbursed up to the amount that equivalent treatment would have cost within public health care in your municipality of residence.

In some cases, health care service providers in EU or EEA countries or in Switzerland require a prior authorisation to seek obstetric care. If you are staying in a country temporarily, you should be able to obtain treatment by presenting your European Health Insurance Card. In the event of problems, you can contact Kela’s Centre for International Affairs.

You are also free to travel to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland to give birth or use health services related to the monitoring of pregnancy. You are entitled to access treatment in the same way as local residents. In Switzerland, service providers may decide independently on whether to accept you as client for planned obstetric care. You may not use the European Health Insurance Card if you are going abroad for pregnancy-related care or to give birth.

If you go to an EU or EEA country, or to Switzerland to give birth, you must pay all the costs of treatment yourself. Kela reimburses treatment costs retrospectively in the same way as if you had used private health care services in Finland. The amount of the costs you must pay yourself can be estimated by means of Kela’s reimbursement rates. You can also apply for a prior authorisation for giving birth abroad.

Giving birth outside Europe

If you go into labour in a country other than an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, Kela will reimburse treatment costs retrospectively in accordance with the Finnish Health Insurance Act if you have received treatment during a temporary stay in the country in question. Reimbursements will be paid retrospectively in the same way as if you had used private health care services in Finland. If you travel abroad to give birth outside the EU countries, you will be responsible for all costs yourself and you will not be entitled to any reimbursements from Kela.

Maternity clinic visits abroad

Most countries do not have a maternity or child health clinic system like that in Finland. If you are temporarily residing in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland (usually for less than six months), you can receive prenatal care by presenting the European Health Insurance Card. The number and scheduling of prenatal examinations and medical check-ups abroad can differ significantly from those in the Finnish system.

If you are pregnant and going abroad, agree with the maternity clinic in advance on issues relating to the monitoring of your pregnancy. It is recommended that you find out about the health services relating to pregnancy, delivery and maternity care in the country of destination in advance. Check the practical procedures relating to the birth, especially, in time.

Make sure that the information is communicated between the treatment providers in Finland and those abroad. There are no electronic systems available for transferring medical records between the countries, therefore send the requisite documents to the treatment provider abroad. Have the documents translated, if necessary, into a language that the treatment provider will understand. You are responsible for all translation costs.