You need to contact the treatment providers personally in order to determine the opportunities for treatment, waiting times and treatment costs. If necessary, you can request information from the contact point for cross-border healthcare.

A referral is required for specialised medical care. A referral written in another EU country can be accepted if it includes the information needed to assess the patient’s treatment requirements. The referral should be written in Finnish, Swedish or English. Deliver the referral to the healthcare unit from which you wish to receive treatment.

Using healthcare services in Finland

Healthcare service providers operating in Finland are obligated to accept patients from other EU countries in the same manner as patients from Finland. This means that your need for treatment will be evaluated in the same manner as for patients living in Finland and that the same deadlines for receiving treatment will apply.

This obligation does not apply to persons seeking treatment from the EEA countries (Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein), Switzerland or countries outside the EU. However, healthcare service providers can offer services to patients from these countries if they have available capacity.

You cannot seek the following services from abroad:

  • Long-term institutional care
  • Organ transplants
  • Vaccinations according to the national programme
  • Occupational healthcare
  • School and student healthcare

You are usually responsible for the costs of treatment when seeking treatment in Finland

As a rule, you will be responsible for the costs of treatment when seeking treatment in Finland. You will also be responsible for arranging interpretation, translating documents and for covering any related costs. The costs related to the treatment can be invoiced in advance; at most, the advance fee may amount to the estimated costs of treatment.

If you do not wish to pay the costs yourself, you can contact your country of residence to apply for prior authorisation for treatment provided in Finland pursuant to EU Regulation No. 883/2004. The prior authorisation is a promissory note, based on which the party granting the permission reimburses the country providing the treatment for the costs related to the treatment.

If you have the right to treatment based on EU Regulation No. 883/2004 or an international agreement, you will pay the same customer fees as the residents of Finland. The above applies, for example, to a person who lives in another EU or EEA country as a pensioner and whose healthcare costs are covered by Finland, or to a person who has health insurance in another EU country but who suddenly becomes ill while staying in Finland.

Public healthcare may limit the reception of patients seeking treatment from abroad

A municipality or a joint municipal authority may temporarily limit the reception of patients from other EU countries within public healthcare units if the limiting is necessary in order to ensure healthcare services for the residents of a municipality. In practice, this may involve a situation where the waiting times for the residents of a municipality are exceeded. The limitation may be in force for at most 12 at a time.

The decision on a restriction must be reported to the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, the Regional State Administrative Agency and Kela’s National Contact Point for Cross-Border Health Care.

Finland does not currently have any decisions concerning reception of patients.

Places of treatment in Finland

The contact information of public healthcare service providers in Finland is available at the Palveluvaaka.fi online service.

  • Contact information of hospital districts, emergency care services, maternity hospitals and rare diseases centers can also be found here (Contact information / Public healthcare).
  • Information on the basic healthcare services is available on the websites of the municipalities, such as www.hel.fi (Helsinki) or www.turku.fi (Turku).
  • The website of the FinlandCare programme provides information about private healthcare providers.
  • Further information is also available from the National Contact Point for cross-border healthcare by email (yhteyspiste(at)kela.fi).