Health services

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Low-cost healthcare in your neighbourhood

Helsinki offers a broad selection of healthcare and social services to its registered residents, many at no cost. Finland’s welfare state subsidises both public and private health services in Helsinki, so costs are never prohibitively high.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 112.

If on the other hand you have an urgent but non-life-threatening medical issue, call the toll-free 24/7 Medical Helpline at tel. 116 117 before you go to an emergency clinic. A medical professional will help you get the assistance you need.

Helsinki’s emergency clinics are at the Meilahti Bridge Hospital, Malmi Hospital, and for those under the age of 16, the New Children’s Hospital. If you need emergency care on a weekday 8.00-16.00, you should go to your local health station.

Step-by-step healthcare instructions

  • Find the location of your local health station

    Health services in Helsinki are provided by local health stations. Find the health station you have been assigned to by using Helsinki’s handy Service Map.

  • Choose one of four options

    Go to the station’s website and 1) fill out a symptom assessment in Omaolo, 2) send a message via Maisa, 3) call the health station on the phone and make an appointment, or 4) visit the station in person. You will be asked for your personal identity code (henkilötunnus), so be sure to have it on hand. Find more information on healthcare e-services such as Omaolo and Maisa below.

  • Be on time and bring your Kela card

    Punctuality is highly valued in Finland, so plan ahead and arrive at your health station at least five minutes before a scheduled appointment. At dental clinics, you will be asked to sign in to an e-terminal with your Kela card after you arrive.

  • Wait for your name to be called

    If you made your appointment online or by phone, you can walk past the reception desk directly to the waiting area. You will be called into the examination room by name. Some locations use a queuing system that issues a number to walk-ins. 

  • Explain your situation in Finnish, Swedish or English

    If you don’t speak one of these languages well, see our information below on Healthcare in other languages.

  • Be prepared to travel to another location, if necessary

    If you need blood work or specific treatment, you may need to visit another location after your appointment. If your doctor, nurse or dentist prescribes medicine for you, you will need to travel to a pharmacy to pick it up.

Your local health station

If you need health services or medical treatment in Helsinki, look no further than your local health station. Each is well-enough equipped to deal with most urgent cases and provide customers with the care they need. The City of Helsinki automatically appoints a health station to registered residents, based on their home address.

If you develop an illness or condition that requires regular treatment, a team of professionals from your local health station will assist you. Customers are always free to request a different health station, if they wish. See our section on Family Services in Helsinki for more information on what services are available to, for example, expectant parents and young children.

Callback system eliminates waits

To prevent customers waiting for long periods on hold, health stations in Helsinki have introduced a callback service. It makes a note of incoming numbers and returns calls later. Note that stations using the callback system will only call you back twice after your initial call. If they cannot reach you, it is your responsibility to contact the station again.

Wait times differ among Helsinki’s health stations. Even so, the majority of customers with an urgent issue are able to meet with a medical professional on the same day they call. You can improve your chances of getting a appointment if you call your health station immediately when it opens at 8.00. If you cannot come to your appointment, be sure to cancel it at least 24 hours in advance. Otherwise, the city will charge you a EUR 50.80 fee. 

24/7 healthcare online

The City of Helsinki and the regional HUS hospital network use several e-services that can help you with social welfare and healthcare-related issues day and night. Most of the e-services require strong identification. However, do not use an e-service if you feel very weak or suspect that you are seriously ill. In this case, follow the instructions in the blue box at the top of the page.

Eligibility and fees for health services in Helsinki

Helsinki healthcare services provide everyone with urgent medical care, even people who are visiting or living here temporarily. If you are not a registered resident, the city will invoice you for the services required at a later date. The state benefit agency Kela can answer any questions you may have about your eligibility for medical care in Finland.

The city may ask clients to pay a small fee for some public health services. Helsinki has set a maximum annual payment limit of 683 euros for standard public social and health services. If your costs exceed this ceiling, the city will then provide most further services at no cost. Naturally, the real costs incurred by medical care are much higher, but tax revenue covers this. 

Two women with bicycles on Helsinki's Huvilakatu.

What is Kela?

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (better known as Kela) provides social security and benefits to permanent residents and people working in Finland. It is a good idea to apply for a Kela card after your arrival.

Kela website

Am I eligible for healthcare in Helsinki?

Some people classified as living in Helsinki temporarily may not be eligible for public health services or Kela benefits. If you have questions or are confused about your status, call the 24/7 health care advisory helpline at tel. +358 9 310 10023.


Finnish law only permits certified pharmacies (apteekki) to sell pharmaceutical products. Strict Finnish customs regulations prohibit drug shipments from abroad. Finnish doctors also may not prescribe large quantities or dosages of medicine.

There are 50 or so pharmacies in Helsinki. Yliopiston Apteekki at street address Mannerheimintie 96 is the only location in the city that provides 24-hour service. Nowadays, it is common for doctors, nurses and dentists to create an electronic prescription (resepti). Any pharmacy in the city can access the resepti, so you can use a pharmacy that is most convenient. Pharmacies use a queuing system for picking up prescriptions. Don’t forget that your Kela card will give you a substantial state-sponsored discount on the cost of the medicine.

Dental care 

The city runs a network of close to 40 neighbourhood dental clinics. Due to high demand, customers may have to wait several weeks for routine dental check-ups or appointments with dental hygienists.  In order to lighten this backload, municipal dental clinics may give you a service voucher to receive treatment at a private clinic. Remember to state that you are a customer of Helsinki’s public healthcare system when you book your appointment, and make sure to book an appointment while the service voucher is still valid.

To book a dental care appointment in the public system, call Helsinki’s centralised dental care booking service at tel. +358 9 310 51400 Mon-Thu 7-18 and Fri 7-15. Municipal dental care is not expensive, as these example fees indicate. While private dental care is always pricier, it often has better availability.

Emergency dental care is available at two dental clinics in the Helsinki districts of Kalasatama and Meilahti on weekdays 8:00-15:00. Additionally, on evenings, weekends and public holidays, emergency dental care is available at Park Hospital in Meilahti.

Mental healthcare

Helsinki has professional services available for anyone struggling with the challenges of daily life. Firstly, you must first contact your local health station and ask to speak with a doctor. Secondly, if necessary, your doctor will refer you to a psychiatric clinic or other mental health service. In any event, you cannot use these services without an initial doctor’s referral. 

Doctors and psychologists cannot share information about you with other authorities or parties without your permission. If you or someone you love is hurting, please turn to us for help. Check the City of Helsinki website for more information on mental health services, psychiatric emergency services and substance abuse services.

Who can I call about a mental health issue?

Helsinki’s Crisis emergency support phone service at tel. +358 9 310 44 222 offers round-the-clock mental health support in crisis situations. If necessary, even home visits can be arranged. Please call if you or someone you care about needs help.

Additional information