How to prove your right to treatment in Finland

If you are not permanently living in Finland, you must present a certificate of entitlement to treatment when using public healthcare services. The certificate of entitlement to treatment is a document that you can use to demonstrate your right to treatment within Finland’s public healthcare. Emergency treatment is available to everyone even without the certificate.


There are several different certificates and their purposes vary. Present your certificate of entitlement to the care provider when you arrive for treatment. The certificate must be valid at the time when the treatment is given.

Sudden illness

If you become suddenly ill during a temporary stay in Finland (on holiday, for example) or you require treatment due to a chronic illness, pregnancy or childbirth, you can demonstrate your right to treatment with the following:

  • The European Health Insurance Card (European Commission) (EHIC)
  • A certificate temporarily replacing a European Health Insurance Card
  • A passport or other identity card if you are permanently living in another Nordic country
  • A passport issued by the United Kingdom or Australia. The passport of a person coming from Australia must indicate that they have unlimited right of residence in Australia.
  • A certificate of entitlement to treatment in Finland, issued by Kela.

If you live in another Nordic country, the United Kingdom or Australia, your permanent address must also be in that country in order for you to receive treatment with the same customer fees as the residents of Finland. Give your address to the provider of treatment.

Seeking treatment

If you live in another EU country, you can seek treatment in Finland’s public healthcare. The prerequisite is that an EU country is responsible for the costs of your medical care. You can seek treatment in Finnish private healthcare regardless of where you live or where you are covered by health insurance.

You will usually be responsible for the costs of treatment when seeking treatment in Finland. However, you will not be responsible for the costs of treatment if you have received prior authorisation (form E 112 or S2) from your country of residence. In addition to the treatment provider, the prior authorisation usually defines the validity period of the authorisation and the treatment whose costs are covered by the authorisation.

Certificate of entitlement to treatment benefits in Finland

You can also receive treatment within public healthcare by presenting a certificate of entitlement to treatment benefits in Finland issued by Kela.

The certificate of entitlement to treatment benefits in Finland defines the scope of treatment to which you are entitled within Finland’s public healthcare and whether you are entitled to reimbursement of private medical care from Kela. The certificate also confirms the customer fee that is invoiced from you and the possibility of public healthcare to seek reimbursement for the costs from the state.

You can receive such a certificate when you are working in Finland but not permanently living there, for example. The certificate is free of charge.

If you do not have a certificate of entitlement to treatment

If you do not have a certificate of entitlement to treatment, try to primarily contact your health insurance institute or the authority that covers your healthcare costs in order to acquire the necessary certificate or a replacement thereof.

If you do not have the European Health Insurance Card or if your card has gone missing, your health insurance institute can provide you with a certificate to replace the Card.

If necessary, you can ask Kela to determine whether a certificate of entitlement to treatment can be acquired for you. Your treatment provider can also make the request for you.

If you do not have a certificate of entitlement to treatment or one cannot be acquired, the treatment provider will usually invoice you for the actual costs incurred from your treatment.