Medicine and health care in Finland: providing services to foreigners, the best institutions



Medicine and health care in Finland: providing services to foreigners, the best institutions

Social security in Finland is considered to be one of the best in the world. In particular, the medical field is known for its high quality and accessibility for all areas of the living population. This is because Finns spend 10% of their budget on healthcare. Also thanks to state-of-the-art diagnostic methods and the possibility to be examined by top-class specialists, many foreigners choose this country for treatment.

State healthcare system

Medical services for Finnish citizens are provided almost free of charge. After all, most of the costs during treatment are covered by budget funds. You can make an appointment with a therapist at the district polyclinic. It is he or she who issues the referral to specialist doctors. By the way, nurses often conduct the initial consultation instead of therapists in Finland. But it is impossible to call a doctor at home from a state medical institution. For emergencies, hospitals have a duty service that works at night and on weekends.

To use public services in health care, citizens of Finland and holders of a permanent residence permit must obtain a Kela card. It belongs to the Finnish Social Security Service, which is responsible for calculating social benefits payments. The card shows the personal number by which each person is registered in the state's electronic medical database. With the help of this service, doctors can learn about patients' previous visits to other specialists and previously prescribed treatment regimens.

Provision of medical services to foreigners

If you have a residence permit, you can count on the use of services of the state healthcare system. In other cases, foreigners should apply to private medical institutions. However, prices in such centres will be significantly higher. Only in case of emergency, everyone without exception has the right to free assistance from the state. Having health insurance in one of the EU countries of the European Union will help to get extended services for treatment in Finland, even for chronic diseases.

Foreign workers also have the opportunity to take advantage of health insurance, issued at their place of work. In general, the employer is obliged to provide employees from other countries the opportunity to undergo preventive examinations. And for foreigners studying in Finnish universities, there is a special Health Care Fund for students. You can get certain medical services there, but not for free. If the learning process takes at least 2 years, it is grounds for obtaining a residence permit. Accordingly, the student will be able to use public medical services on a par with the Finns.

Top medical institutions in Finland

List of private institutions providing qualified assistance in the treatment of various


Q-medical – specialises in dental services.

Orton – specialises in musculoskeletal diseases and


Docrates – specialises in oncology.

Felicitas Mehiläinen – specialises in obstetrics and artificial insemination.

Helsinki Hospital – specialises in surgery (orthopaedic, plastic, oral and maxillofacial surgery, removal of malignant tumours).

How Finnish pharmacies work

The sale of medicinal products in Finland is subject to strict restrictions. After all, most

medicines cannot be sold without a prescription. In this case, only the following items on the list are not prohibited from selling:

dietary supplements;


cosmetic care products;

light antipyretics and painkillers;

dressing materials;

devices for measuring blood pressure or sugar levels;

vitamin and mineral complexes;

allergy medicines;