Municipal Health Care

Public healthcare is the responsibility of the municipalities. Municipal healthcare is provided at local health centres (terveyskeskus) and  district hospitals. Municipal healthcare in Finland is not free but the fees are affordable because medical care costs are generally paid by the patient's home municipality.


Who is entitled to use municipal health care services
Persons who have a municipality of residence (kotikunta) in Finland are entitled to use municipal health care services at the same client fees and under the same conditions as Finns. Even if you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, the Social Security Institute in Finland (Kela) may confirm your right to receive non-urgent treatment within public healthcare in following cases

  • you are covered by health insurance in another EU country (e.g. European Health Insurance Card)
  • you are working in Finland and are insured for earnings-related pension benefits, against employment accidents and unemployment in Finland. If you come from some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland you will also need a valid residence permit that gives you a right to work in Finland
  • you can from a country that Finland has a social security agreement with

If you are not a permanent resident,  do not come from an EU Member State and are not insured in Finland, you will receive medically necessary treatment in case of an emergency, but otherwise you will have to use private medical services. Please note doctor's consultation and treatment are quite expensive. You are strongly advised to purchase a good medical, accident and travel insurance policy for yourself (and your family members) before your arrival in Finland.


How to make an appointment
Health centres are usually open Monday-Fri from 8.00 to 16.00. Health care is organised regionally, with each residential area having its own health centre. Every person who lives in Joensuu/Kuopio/Savonlinna has a GP (named doctor) and a nurse, assigned on the basis of the address of the resident. You need to make an appointment with the appointed doctor of your area.

Please be prepared to provide the necessary documents, such as a European Health Insurance Card, insurance information or a Kela card when visiting a health centre. You should also bring your passport or other ID with you to prove your identity. A doctor's appointment at a health centre usually costs about €20.

Appointments with the General Practitioner are given by your personal nurse at following times: