Refugees and asylum-seekers

A person is entitled to use all public healthcare services after the Register Office has recorded them as a resident of a municipality. This requires that the person has been granted a permanent residence permit. This permit is granted to people who arrive in Finland as quota refugees and on the basis of international protection requirements or their status as a victim of human trafficking. The reception centres are responsible for arranging healthcare services for asylum-seekers.

Refugees’ right to healthcare services

Authorities will indicate a place of residence for persons with a refugee status. Once a place of residence has been granted, the refugee has the right to use all public healthcare services in the same manner as other Finnish residents and for the same customer fee as local residents. A refugee may also move to a municipality of their choice after receiving a permanent residence permit.

A refugee who receives a residence permit will be insured in Finland and granted a Kela Card. The refugee has the right to receive reimbursement for private medical care from Kela.

Tortured refugees and asylum-seekers can receive treatment at the Rehabilitation centre for torture victims (Helsinki Deaconess Institute) in Helsinki and the rehabilitation services for torture victims in Oulu (in Finnish).

Healthcare services for asylum-seekers

Healthcare services for asylum-seekers are arranged by the reception centres maintained by the state, the municipalities and the Finnish Red Cross (SPR). The reception centre whose customer register the person is registered in is responsible for arranging the services. The reception centres usually have a public health nurse and the reception centre also purchases healthcare services from the private sector, the municipality or the joint municipal authority.

If a foreign citizen who has received reception services is not granted a residence permit or their temporary protection ends, right to reception services will end after a certain time.

Kela’s social security benefits

Persons are not entitled to benefits from Kela during the processing of their asylum application.

Asylum-seekers may receive benefits from Kela only after they have been granted a residence permit and they are considered to be living in Finland permanently.

A person who has been granted asylum has the right to the same benefits and social security from Kela as other permanent residents of Finland. In this case, the person will also receive a Kela Card and a European Health Insurance Card.