You had too much fun? relax…you are insured [Updated!]

Figure 1 (above): Raj got his arm chopped up (while saving a puppy… yeaaah right). Hero is alright… so is the puppy…

27 April, 2015 – Gothenburg, Sunny, 11°C

Updated: 17 June, 2016 – Gothenburg, Drizzle, 16°C

in short:

  • I am a Canadian citizen but since I will be working in Sweden, I had given up my Canadian government issued health insurance
  • If I am seeking for travel insurance outside of the EU zone, it has been quite a struggle finding a Swedish insurance provider to non-permanent residents
  • After some searching: (it is in Swedish, but it is worth the translating efforts)
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Before every big trip, I always go to a local travel agency and purchase a short-term health insurance plan. Of course, the broker gives me 25 minutes “meaning of life” talk, and then convinces me that my life is worth buying the most expensive insurance plan.

Health insurance is one of those things I hate discussing. Basically, I pay a fee to acknowledge my tendency to act stupidly.

Play it safe! Make sure you are covered for the time between moving out of your home country until you are registered in Sweden (that’s when your Swedish insurance begins)!


Figure 2: Sh*t happens! Do you know which famous Swedish artist painted this?

Ojjjjojjjjjjojjjjj… How to stay alive in Sweden:

Are you from the EU/EEA?

If you are a EU citizen moving to Sweden, you really don’t need to worry about health insurance. You are covered. It’s free.

You are from the rest of the world…

If you are a non-EU citizen, it is not a bad idea to buy 3-day or 7-day health insurance coverage. I strongly recommend newcomers to visit local Tax office (Skatteverket) right away and get your Personal Number (personnummer…  your unique ID number). Once you have registered for personnummer, you are covered.

I know several friends that have visited hospital/been hospitalized in the last four month (for emergency and therapeutically reasons). None of them are from the EU. I wish I had more details to give you. But the visits were apparently so uneventful that a trip to the local grocery store might have offered more excitement.

Ok ok, with all gravity, from what I have been told, no complaints about the hospital visits. Raj got his arm chopped up (while saving a puppy… yeaaah right). He went to the emergency care deep into the night. The hospital called in a doctor, stitched him up free of charge. The end.

So I decided to visit a clinic myself.

I had a small patch of skin rash and it wasn’t going away since last July. I had no idea where to go. After Googling, I learned there is a health centre (Närhälsan) about 15 meters away from my gym… (which is about 100m away from the Chalmers library).

  1. Walk-in…
  2. Receptionist took my personnummer, phone number, and told me a nurse will call me tomorrow to book an appointment.
  3. Next day, 0800 I get a phone call…scheduled an appointment a week and half from the day of phone call. Health care in Sweden is very similar to Canada…unless you are bleeding to death, you have a wait for a few days… and I am totally ok with that.
  4. Went to the walk-in clinic in time for my appointment. The clinic is not crowded. I got checked up… apparently I have stress-induced eczema…partly due to lack of sleep and partly due to dehydration from overconsumption of caffeine.

Reduced my coffee consumption from 5 cups to 4 cups plus a RedBull a day.

I am all good now.

 …but I had to pay 100kr. for the walk in visit!!!


My girlfriend and I are traveling to Asia next month, visiting the beautiful countryside of Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Exotic vaccinations are required and they are not performed at local Närhälsan clinics. I asked around and I was directed to Järnhälsan in Göteborg.

We took home Dukoral for Traveler’s Diarrhoea and typhoid, and Cholera pills. Eva also needed her Hepatitis A shot. The vaccinations here in Sweden are much cheaper than it is in Canada. The Japanese Encephalitis shot in Canada was $550, whereas in Sweden the shot is 1080 SEK… about 1/4 of the price.

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The nurse also advised us not to take the J.E. shot since we don’t really need it. WOW! Instead of ripping us off and making some money, she gave us very honest opinions. To compare, at the travel clinic in Canada I paid $950 or 6100 SEK worth of vaccination that I didn’t really need, here we got vaccination for two person for 1950 SEK. IMPRESSED!


Ouch! (why do I always get shots on my bum and not my arm??)




Written by Gimmy

18 Jun 2016