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Healthcare in Sweden

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

Hospital equipment
Image: Pexels

In case of illness

For issues regarding your healthcare, please call 1177

Through the Swedish healthcare helpline (1177) you will get advice and help 24h a day. They will guide you to your nearest clinic/hospital.

If you are calling from a foreign phone number dial +46 771 11 77 00.

For emergencies

For ambulance assistant Call 112 (Swedish emergency number).

You can dial the number without cost from a mobile phone, land-line or public payphone. Call the emergency number 112 in the event of danger to life, property and environment. 

Learn more about the emergency number 112 at the SOS Alarm website. 

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.

Finding your way around the Swedish healthcare system

The Swedish healthcare system is financed by a social insurance that provides all citizens with subsidised healthcare through the government. There are both public and private providers of healthcare. If you have obtained a Swedish personal identity number, or are a holder of the European Health Insurance Card, you are entitled to healthcare at the standard patient fee, with some exceptions depending on tax payer status. 

Learn about patient fees at 1177 Vårdguiden

Dental care is not fully subsidised and therefore relativity expensive in Sweden regardless of whether you choose a public or private provider. The cost is more or less the same with or without a Swedish personal number or EU Health Insurance Card (EHIC) . Check if your insurance covers emergency dental treatment (the EHIC only covers a minor part of the cost). In most cases, insurance only covers emergency treatment (e.g. infections). Please study the insurance conditions to find out what is included in your insurance plan.

General medical care

Health center

Medical care is handled mainly through local health centers (vårdcentral). At a local health center you can receive healthcare 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 refer the patient to a specialist if necessary.

Health centers are open weekdays during the day for advice and visits and some are open in the evening. Book an appointment by calling the reception. You may have to leave your number on an automatic voicemail and they will call you back. Some facilities accept drop-in visits for minor injuries.

Find a healthcare centre near you  (link only available in Swedish)

Stockholm Student Health Services

Stockholm Student Health Services is aimed for students at KTH and provides nurse, therapist and counsellor services. If you are dealing with personal or emotional issues, an appointment with a therapist may be helpful, where you have the possibility to book a single or several appointments. Stockholm Student Health Services can also help you find and connect you with other health care services in Sweden. We are bound to confidentiality and to visit us is free of charge.

Stockholm Student Health Services

For psychiatric services

If you need urgent psychiatric services you should reach out to Vårdguiden 1177  for help. The nurse at Vårdguiden 1177  will also be able to help you find the healthcare that you need. If it is an emergency and you require immediate care, please dial 112 .

Local emergency unit

When the health center is closed and you cannot wait until the following day you can receive help at a local emergency unit (närakut). The unit treats the same kind of illnesses and complaints as the health center. Always call before a visit to get advice or to book an appointment. Call Vårdguiden 1177  to consult a nurse if you need help to decide how urgent your condition is.

The local emergency unit is for medical conditions that require urgent attention but are not life threatening.


Swedish pharmacies handle prescription drugs as well as hygiene products. Antibiotics and certain medicines cannot be bought without a doctor’s prescription. Prescriptions are handled electronically. If you have been prescribed medication ask for the nearest pharmacy with prescription services at the doctor’s office.
The pharmacy is relevant for issues like headache, cold & cough, allergic reaction, insect bites, fever, dry or red eyes, stomach problems.

Sexual and reproductive health

For queries related to sexuality and health, turn to reproductive health clinics. You can either get a recommendation from your local Health center (vårdcentralen) or from Vårdguiden 1177 . Many have drop-in times certain days of the week.

If you need to seek out health care for pregnancy or birth control and have a personal number you can contact your local women’s health clinic (mödravårdscentral). You can either get a recommendation from your local Health center or Vårdguiden 1177 .

How does it work - Fees for foreign citizens

Healthcare guidelines vary depending on your country of citizenship and on the length of your studies. Before coming to Sweden and KTH it is therefore crucial to understand and ensure your medical insurance coverage. Make sure you have medical insurance coverage to avoid extra costs in case of an emergency or if you fall ill during an off campus activity. Find out what's applicable to you in the list below.

Find out about healthcare for foreign citizen at the 1177 Vårdguiden website