Each member state of the European Union has its own Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare. National Contact Points for Cross Border Healthcare are responsible for communications and the exchange of information related to cross-border healthcare.
In Finland, the Contact Point is located within the Social Insurance Institution (Finnish acronym: Kela), where it has functioned since being established in 2014. The Contact Point is part of Kela´s Centre for International Affairs.
Tasks of the contact point
The task of the contact point is to collect, produce and distribute information
- on the Finnish healthcare system
- health care services and their use, availability and the accessibility of buildings
- care practices and procedures connected to seeking treatment
- requirements regarding the quality and safety of medical care and the monitoring and evaluation of health care units
- patients’ rights and procedures for appeal and rectification.
Another task of the contact point is to collect, produce and distribute information on
- health care services and their use in EU member states
- reimbursement of the costs of health care services obtained in EU member states and the associated procedures
- contact points in other countries.
The Contact Point primarily provides information on the health care services provided by states subject to European law. It also provides information on the healthcare services of Social Security Agreement countries and other states as well as on healthcare legislation, administrative procedures, costs and their reimbursement, and patient rights. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the general planning, guidance and development of cross-border healthcare as well as funding oversight.
The Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare does not receive or process patient applications. The Contact Point provides general information on cross-border healthcare and the implementation of applicable laws and agreements. It also disseminates country-specific information on healthcare services and their use. Kela’s Moving to or from Finland service number +358 20 634 0200 (Centre for International Affairs) advises on matters related to social security when moving to or from Finland.
Choosehealthcare.fi is our main service channel
The Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare maintains and develops the Choosehealthcare.fi online service, which provides information on the freedom of healthcare choice in Finland and the use of healthcare services abroad. The website provides information on patient rights, treatment costs and their reimbursement, healthcare in different countries, among other things.
The Choosehealthcare.fi website is available in Finnish, Swedish, English and Northern Sámi. Key website content is also published in Finnish and Finland-Swedish sign language. The website has an information section dedicated to healthcare employees.
Launched at the end of 2015, the online service provides reliable information produced jointly by several authorities. The online service has been jointly created by the Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare and Social Insurance Institution (Kela).
National cooperative network
The operations of the Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare are based on national cooperation. Public healthcare operating units, Social Insurance Institution (Kela), National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea), Regional State Administrative Agencies and National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) are obligated to provide the Contact Point, free of charge, with all the information necessary for it to complete its tasks.
The Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare maintains a cooperation group, which is responsible for coordinating the compilation and production of information related to the Finnish healthcare system. The cooperation group helps prepare information content for the Contact Point and ensures that it is presented in a uniform and client-oriented manner. The cooperation group consists of representatives from Kela, THL, Fimea, Valvira, the Patient Insurance Centre and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities as well as an association representing patients.
The Advisory Board on Cross-Border Health Care works in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (MSAH). Based on a recommendation made by the MSAH, the Finnish Government appoints the members of the Advisory Board to serve a three-year term. The task of the Advisory Board is to monitor compliance with the Act on Cross-Border Health Care, make proposals and launch initiatives for developing legislation, and address other matters related to implementation of the Act and cross-border healthcare.
The tasks of cross-border healthcare and national cooperation are provided for in the Act on Cross-Border Health Care (in Finnish).
Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare
Mailing address: P.O. Box 80, FI-00381 Helsinki
You can also reach the Contact Point by email at yhteyspiste(at)kela.fi
The Contact Point provides general information on cross-border healthcare. Regarding your applications for benefits, or other personal issues, please contact Kela customer service (Centre for International Affairs). For data security reasons, please do not send sensitive information, such as your social security number, by email.