On this page
- Your local health station
- 24/7 healthcare online
- Eligibility and fees
- Dental care
- Mental healthcare
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.
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.
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.
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. Helsinki’s health stations are 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 doctor-nurse team from your local health station will assist you. Customers are always free to request a different doctor-nurse team or 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 that 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.
Although service wait times differ among Helsinki’s health stations, the majority of customers with an urgent medical issue are able to meet with a medical professional on the same day they call. You can improve your chances of getting a speedy 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.
Strong identification is a secure way to verify your identity online. You can get strong identification in several ways (see Suomi.fi for other options), but most people in Finland use one of the two methods listed below:
- Online banking codes (also known as banking credentials) are available from banks operating in Finland. After opening an account with a Finnish bank, the bank will issue a user ID, password and banking code list for your personal use. Do not share this information with others. You can then follow your bank’s instructions for confirming your strong identification credentials.
- Mobile ID is available from Finnish mobile phone operators, who will activate a mobile certificate on your mobile phone’s SIM card.
Helsinki residents are encouraged to use Maisa as their primary means of communication with municipal healthcare providers.
Maisa is a digital communication channel used by the HUS regional hospital network and the City of Helsinki to provide round-the-clock service for healthcare, dental care, maternity and pediatric health clinics and senior services. Maisa is available at www.maisa.fi and as an app. To log into Maisa, you will need a form of strong identification.
Log into Maisa to see your social and health service information and
- book or cancel appointments
- see examination and laboratory results
- leave a message for a social service or healthcare professional
- request prescription renewals and/or
- authorise someone else to act on your behalf.
The My Kanta service is a secure online repository of your health records, such as your COVID-19 vaccination certificate, treatment records, laboratory tests results, X-ray examinations, and electronic prescriptions. With your permission, all social welfare and healthcare service providers in Finland will have access to this data, making it easy to provide treatment across all service providers, in any part of the country.
With the 24/7 Omaolo e-service, you can do an online symptom assessment and receive immediate instructions for self-treatment. This service is available without strong identification. If Omaolo’s symptom assessment determines that your symptoms need to be assessed by a healthcare professional, you can log in with strong identification and send your symptom assessment to your local health station. Your local health station will try and respond within 24 hours. In some cases, the healthcare professional will be able to prescribe you medicine based on the symptom assessment alone, saving you a trip to the doctor.
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.
|Reason for medical care||Fee in the public system||Average fee in private system|
|Regular visit to the doctor||Maximum EUR 33||EUR 35-200*|
|Surgery||EUR 39-683||EUR 750-10,000**|
|Treatment sessions||EUR 9 per session||EUR 40-160 per session|
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.
Finnish law only permits certified pharmacies (apteekki) to sell pharmaceutical products. In addition, strict Finnish customs regulations prohibit drug shipments from abroad, and Finnish doctors 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) that any pharmacy in the city can access, so you can use the services of any pharmacy that is convenient for you. 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.
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.
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 are bound to secrecy and cannot share information about you with other authorities or parties without your permission. In conclusion, you can check the City of Helsinki website more information on psychiatric emergency services, substance abuse services and preventative work.
Specialised care for non-urgent health services always requires a referral from a general physician. If you want to see a specialist about a recurring health problem, you must first visit a doctor at your local health station, who will then make a referral.
Hospitals and networks of hospitals called hospital districts are responsible for providing specialist and emergency health services as well as treating rare and expensive illnesses. The capital area’s Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, better known as HUS, has eleven hospitals in Helsinki.
Health services in Helsinki are provided in both of Finland’s official languages, Finnish and Swedish. In addition, most medical professionals speak English well enough to provide care and guidance. However, by law, customers have the right to treatment that is explained in a satisfactory manner in their mother tongue, so customers can request an interpreter if they wish.
The City of Helsinki is responsible for arranging and financing these interpreter services. Consequently, if you wish to use the services of an interpreter, please request one when you call to book your appointment.
If you are studying at university or another higher education institute in Helsinki, you have the right to student health services. Therefore, it is best to contact your specific learning institution for more information.
Residents with an irregular residential status receive urgent and medically necessary health services in Helsinki in the same way as registered residents. In addition, the Helsinki branch of Global Clinic provides medical assistance and advice to people without proper documentation at no cost. Furthermore, the clinic does not report its customers to the police or other authorities.
In contrast, medical care for asylum seekers who are waiting for an asylum decision is arranged by their respective reception centres. See the website of the Finnish Immigration Service for more.
Private health services complement municipal services, providing primary and specialised care for a fee. The state partly subsidizes private healthcare, which keeps prices reasonable. However, as a rule, private healthcare services are more expensive than public services.
For example, many private healthcare providers have a direct reimbursement agreement with the state benefits agency Kela. Hence, reimbursements from the state are deducted directly from your bill, if you show your Kela card.