You will receive medically necessary treatment in Finland’s public healthcare system when you are temporarily staying in Finland and your healthcare costs are covered by another EU or EEA country, Switzerland or Australia. You will pay the same customer fee as the permanent residents of Finland. If you use private healthcare services, you will receive reimbursement for the costs of private medical treatment from Kela retrospectively.
If you have arrived from a country that is not an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or Australia and you are temporarily staying in Finland, you will only receive emergency treatment in Finland’s public healthcare system.
If you have sought treatment in Finland or the purpose of your stay in Finland is to use healthcare services, you will usually be liable for all of the costs of treatment. Contact the authorities in the country that is responsible for your medical care costs in order to determine how the costs are reimbursed.
Temporary residence usually refers to a stay of less than a year
In Finland, temporary residence usually refers to a stay of less than a year for the purpose of, for example, a holiday or exchange studies.
If your residence in Finland lasts for more than a year, file a notification of move with the Register Office and request inclusion in the social security system from Kela by using the e-services or by filling in form Y 77.
If you are temporarily staying in Finland and you are having difficulty receiving treatment in public healthcare, contact
- Kela's Centre for International Affairs if the matter concerns a missing certificate for the right of treatment
- contact point for cross-border healthcare if the matter concerns the use of healthcare services, access to treatment or the organisation of treatment in Finland.
What is medically necessary treatment?
Medically necessary treatment refers to treatment that cannot wait for your return home. It may involve a sudden attack of illness, treatment required by a chronic condition, pregnancy monitoring or childbirth. At a minimum, treatment is provided so that you can safely return home in accordance with your original plan.
A healthcare professional will evaluate the type of treatment you require and the necessary schedule for the treatment. The evaluation is usually performed by a doctor or dentist. The assessment for the need for treatment will take into account the duration of your stay in Finland.
During your temporary stay, you are also entitled to receive treatment for diseases that require dialysis, oxygen therapy, specific asthma treatment or cytostatic treatment. You are also entitled to ultrasound scans of the heart in relation to chronic autoimmune diseases.
If advance arrangements are required for the treatment, please contact the provider in advance. Dialysis is an example of a treatment that requires advance agreement.
Residents of other EU or EEA countries or Switzerland
If you reside in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland and you are temporarily staying in Finland, you will receive medically necessary treatment in public healthcare. You will receive treatment in the same manner and for the same customer fee as residents of Finland when you present a European Health Insurance Card.
If you use private healthcare services in Finland, you will be liable for all the costs of treatment. If you have paid for the costs of medically necessary treatment provided in Finland, you will receive reimbursement retrospectively from your own health insurance institute or from Kela.
Kela will reimburse treatment costs from private healthcare and medicine and travel costs related to treatment in the same manner as for residents of Finland.
Residents of other Nordic countries
In public healthcare, you can demonstrate your right to medically necessary treatment by using an official identity card or passport in lieu of the European Health Insurance Card. Your permanent address of residence must be in another Nordic country.
Residents of other Nordic countries are entitled to use their own language (Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandic) within public healthcare. The treatment provider will arrange for an interpreter, if necessary.
Residents of Australia
If you permanently reside in Australia, you are entitled to receive medically necessary treatment within public healthcare during your stay in Finland. Your stay is usually considered temporary when you are staying in Finland as a tourist or student.
You will receive treatment within public healthcare at the same customer fees as Finnish residents when you present a valid Australian passport. You can also demonstrate your right to treatment by using a passport from another country if it indicates your unlimited right of residence in Australia. Your permanent address of residence must be in Australia.
You can also use the services of Finland’s private healthcare and Kela will reimburse you for the costs of medically necessary treatment.