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Denmark - Health Service

Healthcare in Denmark is of a very high standard, and expats who move here usually find the quality of healthcare on par with, or better than, what they are used to. The healthcare system in this country is comprehensive and there are many medical facilities to choose from. Denmark is covered by a universal healthcare scheme, meaning that all citizens have the equal right to access it. The majority of people here use public healthcare facilities because of their high standards, but there are numerous hospitals for expats who prefer private care. As the most Danish people are able to speak English, expats shouldn't have trouble finding an English-speaking doctor.

Public healthcare

There are numerous public hospitals in Denmark, so expats will easily find a suitable institution in this country. Medical care is free to all Danish citizens, but certain treatments may incur additional fees. EU citizens are also entitled to free healthcare as long as they can produce a valid European Health Insurance Card. Expats who come from non-EU countries can receive free emergency healthcare in Denmark, but they need to get international health insurance for routine medical care.

When expats become permanent residents in Denmark and have registered with Citizens’ Services, they will receive an identification number and health insurance card, which will give them full access to universal healthcare. All expats who have a health insurance card have to choose a general practitioner before receiving any medical treatment.

Private healthcare

Because of the high standard of public healthcare, there are not many private healthcare facilities in Denmark. However, the popularity of private care has increased in recent years, so some new clinics are slowly starting to open. Another reason for the growth of private hospitals and care is the increasing number of employers who offer private health insurance. This means that employees can easily use private healthcare facilities and avoid the waiting periods which are common in the public healthcare system. Expats should talk to their employers to find more about the health insurance policy options available.


All across Denmark it's easy to find pharmacies, some of which are open 24 hours a day. This country's regulations towards medicines are very strict, so expats may need a prescription for certain medicines which they might be able to get over the counter at home. Presricption drugs are not expensive for Danish and EU citizens, because they are subsidised by the Danish governement.

Health insurance

Expats who move to Denmark should get international health insurance to cover them until they become permanent residents in the country. Once expats have been in Denmark for more than three months, they can apply for permanent residency. All expats should also register with the National Register in their municipality to acquire a CPR number and health insurance card. This card must be acquired in case of receiving any sort of medical care in Denmark.

Emergency services

The general emergency number in Denmark is 112. This service also has operators who speak English, so expats can call an ambulance even if they don't speak Danish. Emergency treatment is free to all in Denmark, regardless of their nationality or current resident status.

Healthcare for students

The Danish healthcare system offers equal access for all residents. Those who are international students and residents in Denmark can access to free medical treatments with some exceptions, such as dental care and physiotherapy.

Coverage without registering with the Danish Civil Registration System

Students from outside the EU/EEA

According to the Danish Health Act, all non-residents who are staying in Denmark are entitled to emergency hospital care free of charge "in the event of an accident, childbirth, acute illness or sudden aggravation of a chronic disease". All other healthcare services must be paid for by themselves or their insurance.

Note: The Danish public healthcare system does not cover transportation of patients back to their home country in the event of illness.

Students from the EU/EEA or Switzerland

Those who are EU/EEA citizens or Swiss nationals planning to stay in Denmark for less than 3 months, who are covered by a statutory health insurance service in another EU country, can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access any health service needed during their stay in Denmark. These people enjoy the same healthcare services that are offered to residents in Denmark. The fee for these services is forwarded to the statutory health insurance service which issued the EHIC.

Note: Students from Nordic countries don't need to show any of these documents, while students from the UK need only their UK passport as a proof.

Coverage when registered with the Danish Civil Registration System

Students from outside the EU/EEA

Those who are non-EU/EEA citizens planning to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months must obtain a Danish residence permit and register with the Civil Registration System. After that, they are entitled to free medical treatment in Denmark.

Students from the EU/EEA or Switzerland

Those who are EU/EEA citizens or Swiss nationals planning to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months, and covered by the statutory health insurance service in their home country, can enjoy full access to the Danish national healthcare system once they have registered with the Civil Registration System. In order to register they must present an E106 form, a S1 Portable Document, or a valid EHIC card issued by their statutory health insurance.

How to register

When registering with the Civil Registration System applicants must choose whether they want to be insured in Group 1 or Group 2. Care offered by General practitioners (GPs) and specialists in Group 1 is free of charge. It means that the applicants will need to choose a GP who will refer them to a specialist when necessary.

Those who choose to be insured in Group 2 will not be assigned a specific GP but will enjoy access to any GP or specialist on request. However, only a part of the costs for treatment in Group 2 is reimbursed. Roughly 98% of Danish residents are insured in Group 1.

The Danish National Health Insurance Card

Upon registering with the Civil Registration System, applicants receive a national health insurance card, called "Sygesikringskort". This card serves as proof that they are entitled to all public healthcare services in Denmark. It must be presented at all visits to doctors, hospitals and at pharmacists when collecting prescription drugs. This card states the personal name, address and the Civil Personal Registration number, along with the name of the doctor. It also provides healthcare coverage for up to 30 days on trips within the EU/EEA and Switzerland.

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