Photo: Sara Ingman/imagebank.sweden.se

Health insurance and medical care

Health insurance should be arranged before you come to Sweden.

Health insurance guidelines vary depending on your country of citizenship.

Please note that the information on this page only applies for students on bachelor’s and master’s programmes, not for PhD students. PhD students should contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency or their universities for information on health insurance.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens

If you’re a citizen of any of the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, you should register for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in your home country before coming to Sweden. This card gives you the right to medical care at the same cost as Swedes. The European Commission has developed an EHIC app with more information on the card and how it works.

If you’re not able to receive your EHIC before leaving home due to long waiting times, you can request a temporary certificate from the same office in your home country that issues the EHIC.

If you don’t obtain an EHIC in your home country, you’ll need to arrange your own insurance coverage to cover costs, as medical care without insurance can be very expensive. However, you always have access to emergency care.

If you’ll be staying in Sweden for more than a year, you can register with the Swedish Tax Agency for a personal identity number. Once you’ve received your number, you’ll be entitled to all healthcare and pay Swedish patient fees.

Non-EU/EEA citizens: stays of one year or more

If your degree programme is longer than one year, you’re entitled to the same health benefits as Swedes after registering with the Swedish Tax Agency in order to receive a personal identity number. Once you’ve received your number, you’ll be entitled to all healthcare and pay Swedish patient fees.

Do note that this doesn’t cover your journey to Sweden or the time you spend in the country prior to receiving your personal identity number. To be fully covered for that period, you will need some form of insurance from your home country. You should also check with your university to find out if they provide any additional insurance coverage for international students.

Non-EU/EEA citizens: stays of less than one year

If you have a residence permit valid for a period of less than a year, you won’t be able to obtain a personal identity number, which means you won’t have automatic access to health insurance. However, your university may provide you with health insurance coverage through the Swedish State Insurance Agency’s (Kammarkollegiet) plan. Check with your university to find out if they offer this plan.

Sweden also has reciprocal agreements for medical benefits with a number of countries. To find out whether your country has this kind of agreement with Sweden and to learn about terms and procedures if so, contact the social insurance office in your home country or the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

Students who aren’t covered by any of these agreements must arrange for their own insurance coverage, as medical treatment can be very expensive without any form of insurance. It’s highly recommended to arrange for health insurance from your home country so that you’re covered during your trip to Sweden and as soon as you arrive. After arriving, you can check if your university or student union has a special agreement with an insurance company to provide insurance at a lower cost.

Medical treatment in Sweden

If you need to consult a doctor, you can either make an appointment at the student health centre at your university or go to the local healthcare centre, vårdcentralen. Patient fees vary but are usually about SEK 150-200 for a consultation. Doctors in Sweden speak good English; interpreters between Swedish and other languages can often also be arranged. Check with the staff at your healthcare centre if you need to arrange for an interpreter to find out what options are available.

If you don’t yet have a Swedish personal identity number or European Health Insurance Card (see the information for EU/EEA citizens above), it may be difficult to make an appointment at a healthcare centre. If you have trouble making an appointment at a healthcare centre or if you need urgent care, it’s usually possible to receive treatment at a local acute care centre (närakut). Your university will be able to advise you on the best course of action for short-term international students.

The official website 1177.se offers extensive advice on healthcare topics in several languages as well as a search function (in Swedish) for nearby healthcare centres.

In case of emergency, always call 112. You can also go directly to A&E, known as Akutmottagningen or Akuten, at your nearest hospital (sjukhus). If you are concerned about a non-emergency healthcare issue, you can also ring 1177 for advice.

Pharmacies and medication

Pharmacies in Sweden (apotek) provide prescription and non-prescription medication as well as basic health and beauty products. Some non-prescription medications like basic pain or fever medication can also be found at some grocery stores.

Dental care

Dental care is expensive in Sweden, even for Swedes. As such, it’s a good idea to have a thorough check-up at your dentist before leaving for Sweden. Should you still need to consult a dentist here, visit 1177.se to find local listings.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for any international traveller entering Sweden. However, some universities may require a medical certificate as part of the application to their programmes.

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