Assistive devices abroad

You may take abroad with you an assistive device you have been provided with in Finland if your intention is to stay abroad only temporarily. You are responsible for the transportation of the assistive device and for the costs incurred yourself. You are also responsible for maintaining and repairing your assistive device if it breaks while you are abroad. If you move abroad permanently, you will usually be able to take with you the assistive device in your personal use.


If your assistive device breaks while you are abroad

  • The relevant Finnish authorities will not usually reimburse the costs of maintaining or repairing assistive devices abroad, nor will they arrange for a repair to be carried out abroad.
  • The relevant Finnish authorities are not obliged to provide you with a new assistive device abroad.
  • You will be responsible for arranging the delivery of the assistive device and paying for the transportation costs yourself if you want a new device to be delivered to you abroad.
  • Your assistive device will be repaired or a new device will provided by the public healthcare service when you return to Finland.

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.

Residence abroad

If you move abroad permanently, your right to an assistive device 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 use the assistive device provided by the public healthcare system also after you have moved abroad. You can also have an assistive device serviced by the public healthcare system while you are in Finland.
  • If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, you may not have an assistive device in your use serviced in Finland.

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

If, after moving, you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, and you move to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland, and Finland is responsible for your treatment costs after your move, you will retain your right to an assistive device for personal use from the public healthcare system in Finland. You may also have the assistive device in your use serviced, repaired and renewed by the public healthcare system in Finland.

In general, you can obtain an assistive device you may need also from your country of residence, which will allocate this in accordance with its legislation and healthcare system. The health insurance institution or other authority responsible for healthcare in the destination country is usually best qualified to provided additional information about obtaining and procuring assistive devices.

If the assistive device is not yet in use at the time of moving

You will retain your right to an assistive device for personal use from the public healthcare system if all the conditions below are met:

  • You are moving to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland
  • You have received a decision on provision of the assistive device in Finland
  • The assistive device has not yet been released for your use

Such assistive devices include at least

Prosthetics

  1. orthopaedic prosthetics
  2. visual assistive devices, for example, artificial eyes
  3. dentures (fixed and removable)

Important assistive devices

  1. wheelchairs, orthoses, footwear and other assistive devices for mobility, standing and sitting
  2. contact lenses, magnifying glasses and binocular loupes
  3. assistive hearing and communication devices
  4. nebulisers
  5. intra-oral prosthetics
  6. orthodontic appliances.

If, after your move, Finland is not responsible for your treatment costs, you may not have an assistive device provided by the public healthcare system renewed, serviced or repaired in Finland after moving abroad.