In general, Sweden’s health and medical care holds to a high standard. All residents – or individuals with a personal identity number – will be subsidized by the state when receiving health and medical care, regardless of whether it is a visit to a doctor or a dentist.
A doctor’s visit in Sweden costs around SEK 170, while a visit to a specialist or to the emergency clinics at the hospitals costs around SEK 330–420. These costs are subsidized by the Swedish State (the actual cost for a normal visit is about SEK 1,700–2,000). The medical care services have a system to protect against high costs, in which you pay up to SEK 1,100 per year yourself. After having paid this sum, care is free of charge.
If you don’t have a Swedish personal identity number, please read more about your health insurance coverage in the section Medical and health insurance.
Children under the age of 20 with a Swedish personal identity number receive free health care. Included in this are regular medical examinations and vaccinations up until the age of five. The Swedish childcare centres also offer support to parents and organize gatherings for new parents living within a given area. Just contact your local childcare centre for more information.
Emergencies – dial 112
This is the emergency number to call for an ambulance, the fire brigade and the police. You will be asked to explain what has happened, where it has happened, and from which number you are calling.
Medical advisory service (Sjukvårdsrådgivningen)
In non-emergency situations, you can always call 1177 to speak to a registered nurse for medical advice and a referral to the nearest clinic if your condition calls for care by a physician. The phone service is open 24 hours a day. You can also visit them online at www.1177.se.
Local Health Clinic (Vårdcentral)
The local health clinics are usually open only weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm.
Local Emergency Ward (Närakuten)
In Uppsala, the Local Emergency Ward at Samariterhemmet has open hours on weekends and evenings. This is the optimal first place to visit for non-emergency medical care when your Local Health Clinic is closed. Tel.: 1177.
In Visby, you are advised to call 1177 for consultation.
For urgent medical care, you may need to visit the hospital. In Uppsala, the Uppsala Academic University Hospital (Akademiska sjukhuset) is one of Sweden’s leading university hospitals and is centrally located just south of Uppsala castle. Tel.: 018-611 00 00.
Visby has one of Europe’s most modern hospitals, located at St Göransgatan 5. Tel.: 0498-26 90 00.
Prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine are available at local pharmacies (apotek). Over-the-counter medicine can also be found at larger grocery stores near the cashiers. Pharmacies are open during normal shopping hours, although some may be closed on weekends. The pharmacy at the University hospital is open after hours.
In Sweden there is a system to protect against high cost regarding prescription medicine, in which you pay up to SEK 2,200 per year yourself. After having paid this sum, prescription medicine is paid by the county council.
The biggest difference between dental care and medical care in Sweden is that you pay a higher proportion of the cost for dental check-ups and treatments yourself. If you stay for more than a year, have a Swedish personal identity number, and pay taxes in Sweden, you are eligible for these reduced dental care costs. EU/EEA citizens staying less than one year are entitled to use the emergency dental care services on the same basis as Swedish citizens, provided they are covered by health insurance in their home country and can produce a European Health Insurance Card. Prices and guarantees for dental care may vary between different dentists and dental hygienists. There may also be differences depending on where in the country you live. Therefore, you should always ask your dentist or dental hygienist about their prices and guarantees.
Adults pay a large part of their dental care costs themselves, starting 1 January of the year they turn 20. However, they also receive financial support from the state. In order to receive this support, you will have to see a dentist or dental hygienist who is affiliated to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).
Each year, everyone over the age of 20 receives a dental care grant of SEK 150 or 300. You can save the grant for two years and use it on one occasion, but you cannot save more than two grants at a time.
Furthermore there is a ‘high cost protection’, which means that the state will step in and pay for certain parts of dental care costs that exceed SEK 3,000 in one year. The first SEK 3,000 is always paid by the patient.
There are several public dental clinics (Folktandvården) in the city of Uppsala and Uppsala County, and they all have different phone numbers. There is also a wide range of private dentists listed in the telephone directory.