The Finnish health care system


Finland has an excellent health care system which is funded mainly by taxes. The three-level public health system is complemented by a much smaller private health care scheme.

  • The emergency number in Finland is: 112
  • For non-emergency health issues: 116 117
  • Poison Information Center: 0800 147 111

The Finnish public health care system consists of primary, secondary and tertiary health care. Each level of public health care represents the speciality of the treatment; i.e. primary health care includes preventive treatment or seeing your general practitioner, whereas tertiary health care refers to more advanced medical treatment.

If you live in Finland for more than four months you will be required to contribute to the national health insurance system. This automatically entitles you to free medical care in public health centres and hospitals, as well as payments for the cost of medicines, travel costs relating to medical treatment and dental care.

In terms of private health care, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland – known as Kela  – helps people living in Finland by paying a portion of their fees for private medical care. Residents can obtain a Kela card from their local municipality and will then be entitled to claim reimbursement on some medical costs.

Further reading

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