Health Care and Right to Use Public Health Care Services

The right to use public health care services in Finland depends on your citizenship and whether you are entitled to a municipality of residence (kotikunta). In some cases you are also entitledd to use public health care services on the basis of your short-term employment in Finland.

Municipality of residence

Municipalities in Finland are responsible for the universal public healthcare. The services are available to those who have a municipality of residence (kotikunta) in Finland. If you are entitled to a home municipality, you will have the right to use public health care services and pay the same fees as locals.

The municipality of residence can be applied at the Local Register Offices (Maistraatti).The "Registration Information of a Foreigner" form has a section where you can choose whether you wish to have a municipality of residence registered for you or if you wish to remain as a temporary residing foreigner in Finland.

 You may receive a municipality of residence in Finland if:

  • you are a citizen of an EU/EEA member country and have registered your right of residence at your local police station
  • you have a valid permanent (P) or continuous (A) residence permit
  • you are a family member of a person who has a municipality of residence in Finland
  • you have valid temporary residence permit (B) entitling you to temporary residence for one year and you can show that you intend to live in Finland permanently. For example the following evidence can show permanent residence:
  • you have a job in Finland and your employment contract is valid for at least two years
  • you are studying in Finland and your studies take at least two years
  • you are of Finnish origin
  • you have previously had a municipality of residence in Finland
  • you have continuously resided in Finland for at least one year

Citizens from an EU/EEA country

Citizens from an EU/EEA member countries are entitled to emergency treatment in the event of an illness or injury and other medically necessary treatment. You can also get medical treatment if you have a pre-existing chronic condition that requires medical attention while you are abroad. Please make sure that you have an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by your home country with you. 

Citizens of Australia and province of Quebec  (health services based on social security agreement)

Temporary residents of Finland who are insured by the Australian health insurance system are entitled to necessary emergency medical treatment in Finland. Entitlement to medical treatment can be proven by showing one's passport. The agreement does not cover persons staying in Finland on a student visa.

The social security arrangement between Finland and the Province of Quebec covers medical treatment and health insurance. It applies only to posted workers and students (and not to travellers). A form issued by the country in which one is permanently resident is required to prove entitlement to medical treatment in Finland.


If contributions are being paid in your behalf to the Finnish earnings-related pension system, you are entitled to the  to medical care in the public system. Please contact Kela and ask for a certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland. By presenting the certificate, you receive treatment in the Finnish public health care system and will be charged the same user fee as the local residents.

Further information:

Right to Kela´s social security benefits

If you have been granted a Kela card, you are entitled to all social security benefits and you can get reimbursement from visits to private health care clinics and when getting prescriptions at pharmacies. However, you are not entitled to use the public health care if you do not have a municipality of residence registered to you.

Further information: