Health care in Sweden

This page describes the health care system in Sweden and what applies to you as an international student if you need to seek health care in Sweden.

Health care in Sweden

The Swedish health care system is financed by a social insurance that provides all citizens with subsidized health care through the government. There are both public and private providers of health care. If you have obtained a Swedish personal identity number, or are a holder of the European Health Insurance Card, you are entitled to health care at the standard patient fee, with some exceptions depending on tax payer status. Dental care is not fully subsidized and therefore relatively expensive in Sweden.

1177 Health care advice hotline

Unless it is an emergency, the first thing to do if you fall ill is to call the Stockholm Health Care Guide (1177 Vårdguiden) hotline. Nurses will give advice on health issues 24-hours/day all year round, and can help guide you towards your nearest and most suitable health care clinic/facility.

Telephone: 1177

General medical care

Medical care is handled mainly through local health centers (vårdcentral). At a local health center you can receive health care for medical problems and illnesses that are non-urgent and not life-threatening. This is where most people go to see a general practioner who can then refer the patient to a specialist if necessary.

Emergencies

For urgent but non life-threatening medical conditions you should turn to a local emergency unit (närakut). If you have a sudden and serious accident or illness go to an emergency hospital clinic (akutmottagning) at a hospital.

Call the free public service emergency number, 112, for ambulance assistance. You can dial the number without cost from a mobile phone, land-line or public payphone.

Cost

The subsidised cost of visiting a primary care physician is SEK 200, to see a specialist doctor it is SEK 350 and a visit to a hospital emergency clinic costs SEK 400. The fees are subsidised by the Swedish government and the full price is SEK 1825-2300. If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number or the European Health Insurance Card you will have to pay the full price when seeking medical care.

In case of illness

In addition to their health care advice hotline 1177 (see above), the the official website of Stockholm Health Care Guide  1177.se also offers extensive advice on healthcare topics in several languages, as well as a  search function (in Swedish) for nearby healthcare centres.

You can find more detailed information about local pharmacies, health centers and emergency units here:

Medical insurance

Depending on the length of your studies and citizenship different regulations apply when it comes to public health care in Sweden. You can read more below or on the website of the  Swedish social insurance agency

Students at KTH are covered by a personal injury insurance on university premises during school hours and during travel between the home and the location where school hours are spent. It is, however, crucial to ensure that you have additional medical insurance coverage in case of an emergency or if you fall ill during an off campus activity.

Dental care

Depending on your policy dental care might be covered by your medical insurance, or you might need to purchase separate dental insurance. Please study the insurance conditions to find out what is included in your insurance plan.

a. Nordic and EU/EEA citizens

If you come to Sweden from another Nordic or EU/EEA country only to study, you are entitled to receive essential health care for the Swedish patient fee. Essential health care is treatment that cannot wait until you return to your home country. What is considered as essential health care thus depends on how long you are planning to study in Sweden. To obtain essential health care for the Swedish patient fee, you must show proof of identity and your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you wish to have health care which is not considered to be essential, you must accordingly pay the entire cost yourself if you do not have a Swedish personal identity number.

The European Health Insurance Card

Students from EU/EEA member countries should bring the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), filled out by the social insurance office in their home country. With this card you are entitled to health care at the same standard patient fee as Swedish citizens. Bring the card any time you need to seek medical care. Holding an “EHIC-card” does not guarantee full health care coverage. Please check with the social insurance office in your home country for more details.

b. Health care for Non-EU/EEA citizens

Staying less than 12 months

If you have a residence permit for less than 12 months in Sweden you need to have a comprehensive insurance that covers medical emergencies. When seeking medical attention you will need to pay for the treatment yourself and later fill out a claim form to be reimbursed by your insurance company. Make sure to read through the terms and conditions to find out in which situations the insurance applies. You can read more about what insurance coverage is offered through KTH here

Staying more than 12 months

International students who have obtained a residence permit for 12 months or more can register in the Swedish population register to obtain a Swedish personal identity number. The personal identity number entitles you to the same patient fees as Swedish citizens for public health care. For questions about the Swedish health insurance please contact the Swedish social insurance agency, Försäkringskassan

c. Citizens of Algeria, Australia and the Quebec-region (Canada)

Sweden has special agreements with Algeria, Australia and the Quebec-region (Canada) regarding free emergency medical care. However, the need for medical care must arise during (not prior to) your stay in Sweden for the reciprocal agreement to be applicable. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, please contact the social insurance office in your home country for more information.

For more information:

Study in Sweden

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