Your right to treatment in Finland

You have always right to receive emergency treatment in Finland’s public healthcare regardless of the country you have come from or the reason why you are in Finland. If you have a place of domicile in Finland, you can use all public healthcare services. Your right to use public healthcare services can also be based on working or studying in Finland.


Your right to use public healthcare services is usually based on whether you have a place of domicile in Finland. The Register Office will record the place of domicile in the population register system.

If you have a place of domicile in Finland, you can use all public healthcare services and you will only be liable for the municipal customer fee. If you do not have a place of domicile in Finland, you cannot usually receive non-urgent treatment within public healthcare. Even if you do not have a place of domicile in Finland, Kela may, in specific cases, separately confirm your right to receive non-urgent treatment within public healthcare.

The following factors affect your right to use public healthcare services in Finland or your right to receive reimbursement for private medical treatment:

  • Whether or not you are permanently living in Finland
  • The country where you are covered by health insurance
  • The basis of your stay in Finland
  • Whether you have suddenly fallen ill during your stay in Finland or sought treatment in Finland.

Your right to use public healthcare services and to receive reimbursement for private medical treatment retrospectively is based on Finland’s national legislation, EU legislation and international conventions regarding social security.

In Finland, treatment is always provided in accordance with the Finnish legislation and healthcare system. A doctor or dentist will assess your need for treatment and decide on the treatment.

Everyone can use private healthcare services in Finland

Everyone can use private healthcare services in Finland. Your right to receive reimbursement from Kela for the costs of private healthcare is usually based on whether you are covered by health insurance in Finland. Kela decides on the health insurance.

If you are covered by health insurance in Finland, you will receive the Kela Card. This entitles you to direct reimbursement for private medical treatment. If you are not covered by Finnish health insurance, you will generally not be able to receive reimbursement for private medical treatment. In specific cases, Kela may separately confirm your right to receive reimbursement for private medical treatment even if you are not covered by Finnish health insurance.

When can you use public healthcare services in Finland?

Scope of treatment Basis for right Certificate of entitlement to treatment Please note
Emergency treatment The need for emergency treatment has been assessed by a doctor Emergency treatment is always provided for everyone regardless of nationality or other factors
Medically necessary treatment The need for medically necessary treatment has been assessed by a doctor European Health Insurance Card or temporary certificate replacing it The assessment for the need for treatment will take into account the duration of the patient’s stay in Finland
All public healthcare services in your municipality of residence You have a place of domicile in Finland Identity card and address of residence The Register Office will record the place of domicile in the population register system
All public healthcare services in your municipality of sojourn You have arrived from an EU or EEA country or from Switzerland and you are covered by employee pension insurance in Finland Certificate of entitlement to treatment benefits in Finland, issued by Kela The Finnish Centre for Pensions provides information on employee pension insurance
All public healthcare services in your municipality of residence or sojourn You have arrived from an EU or EEA country or from Switzerland and you are entitled to treatment in Finland based on the EU’s social security regulations or international agreements on social security Certificate of entitlement to treatment benefits in Finland, issued by Kela Kela provides information on the right to treatment and makes the decision concerning it
All public healthcare services You have arrived from another EU country specifically for receiving treatment or using public healthcare services Only persons arriving from other EU countries must be admitted as customers within public healthcare