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.

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. 

The standard patient fee for 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. If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number or the European Health Insurance Card you will have to pay the full price (SEK 1825-2300) when seeking medical care.

Dental care is not fully subsidised and therefore relatively expensive in Sweden. 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.

In case of illness

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 a day all year round, and will help guide you towards your nearest and most suitable health care clinic/facility.

Dial 1177 or
+46 771 11 77 00 if you are calling from a foreign phone number.

Find out more details about pharmacies, health centrers and emergency services (pdf 163 kB)

General medical care

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 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.

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.

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 healthcare for the same patient fee as Swedish citizens. Essential healthcare is treatment that cannot wait until you return to your home country. What is considered as essential healthcare thus depends on how long you are planning to study in Sweden. If you wish to have healthcare 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.

Must bring the European Health Insurance Card

To obtain essential healthcare for the same patient fee as Swedes, you must show proof of identity and your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), filled out by the social insurance office in your home country. With this card you are entitled to healthcare 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 healthcare coverage. Please check with the social insurance office in your home country for more details.

b. 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 (read more above). Make sure to read through the terms and conditions to find out in which situations the insurance applies.

You can read more about recommended insurance coverage and additional coverage 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 healthcare. For questions about the Swedish health insurance please contact the Swedish social insurance agency.

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.

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