Services phone 112
Public healthcare is available to all residents
in Finland, regardless of their financial situation. Public
healthcare services comprise primary healthcare, provided
by municipal health centres, and specialised hospital care. The
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health draws up social
welfare and health care legislation and guides its implementation.
The government social insurance agency (Kansaneläkelaitos,
provides assistance to residents in paying for healthcare.
Reimbursement of medical expenses is available for doctor's
fees, dental care costs, examination and treatment charges,
and more. Please note however that reimbursement is not
calculated on the basis of the actual costs, but a schedule
of fixed charges indicating the maximum cost covered. More
Card - Your Social Security & Health Insurance
To claim reimbursement of medical costs
you will have to obtain a KELA card, which indicates a resident's
eligibility for social security in Finland. You will also
need to prove your eligibility when purchasing medicines
at a pharmacy - by showing your card you will receive the
medicines at a reduced price.
All permanent residents may be issued a
KELA card. More
Claims to your local KELA office for reimbursement
of medical expenses must be accompanied by an itemised statement
of fees from your doctor, documentary evidence for any diagnostic
tests or treatments required by your doctor, and proof of
payment. Reimbursement must be claimed from KELA / your workplace
fund within six months of
the original expenditure.
Most KELA forms are available in English at the
and can be downloaded OR used online. This includes an
application for a KELA card, claims for reimbursement of
medical expenses etc.
In case of illness you should make an appointment
to visit your local
health centre. In an emergency call 112 or
visit your local hospital.
In Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen or Vantaa,
you can call the Telephone Health Service on (09) 10023 for
information about illnesses and health care services. The
service is run by qualified medical staff and is open 24
hours every day of the year. Service costs the price of a
normal telephone call.
Health Centres (Terveysasemat) in Finland
Primary healthcare is provided by municipal
health centres. They are usually only open for specific hours
on weekdays, so you should make an appointment to see a doctor
if you want to avoid a lengthy wait. You need to use the
centre which is closest to the place where you live; it is
not possible to make a doctor's appointment at a different
surgery than the one most local to you.
Health centres are run by municipal councils
and no central directory is available for the whole of Finland.
If a link for your area does not appear below, try going
to your city's Web site at www.yourcityname.fi (ex.
www.helsinki.fi) - many of these sites have English versions
with healthcare information. Alternatively call telephone
directory information on 118 and
ask for the local health centre (terveysasema).
(Sairaalat) in Finland
For Emergency Services
In an emergency you will be admitted directly
into a Finnish hospital. If the situation is not
an emergency you should first contact a health
care centre. In a dental emergency, turn to the
dental clinic in a health
care centre and make an appointment.
Finland is divided into 20 hospital districts.
The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) is the
largest of these, comprising 32 hospitals..
The following districts also have hospital
For other districts call 118 and
ask for the local hospital (sairaala).
Women should visit a maternity clinic as
soon as they become pregnant or before the end of the 4th
month of pregnancy. The clinic monitors the health of the
pregnant woman and the child and organizes antenatal classes
for mothers and fathers. The services are free of charge
for the customers of the clinic. Once the infant is born,
the doctors and nurses of the infant healthcare clinic take
care of the health and vaccinations of the child. Information
on the topic can be found on the website of the Ministry
of Social Affairs and Health.
Your local health centre* will provide you with more information
on maternity and infant healthcare clinics.
*see Health Care Centres above
Pregnant women who are permanent esidents in
Finland are entitled to a Maternity Grant (äitiysavustus)
as long as certain conditions are fulfilled. Maternity grants
are available either as non-taxable financial aid or as a
Maternity Package (äitiyspakkaus). Pregnant mothers
who have been permanent residents in Finland for a sufficient
period of time are entitled to a Maternity Allowance (äitiysraha).
See KELA's Maternity
& Child Care section
for details of these and
The guide "Having Children in Finland" is available
in the following languages:
English, Finnish, Albanian, Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi, Swedish, Serb Croat
Pregnancy in Difficult Circumstances
If you are pregnant and do not have a partner
to support you, you can receive support for instance from First
Home (ensikoti). In First Homes, families receive support
in relation to parenthood and life management. Mothers are
welcome to First Home while they are pregnant or when they
have already given birth. See also The
Association of Single Guardians and Joint Guardians (Finnish
Abortion is allowed in Finland in cases
where childbirth will cause a health risk for the woman or
if pregnancy and childbirth would cause a significant strain
on the womans life. Women under 17 years of age and
over 40 years of age are allowed to request an abortion on
the basis of their age. If you are considering an abortion,
contact your doctor immediately.
Information on the topic can be found on the website of
of Social Affairs and Health.
Dental care is provided by the health
care centres as described above.
Medicines are sold only at pharmacies. Some
are sold without a prescription but for stronger medication
a doctor's prescription is required. There is always one
pharmacy in town that is open late.
The Finland-wide Yliopiston
Apteekki chain of pharmacies generally opens for
extended hours as well as on Sundays. They can be found
at at these
The centre assists with mental and social
problems free of charge:
Simonkatu 12 B 13, 00100 Helsinki
Phone: (09) 6852828
Open: Monday -Friday, 09:00 - 15:00