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Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in Denmark

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS. This means you may have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.

Visitors to Denmark

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to free emergency treatment at a public hospital in Denmark. Consultations with a doctor or dentist are covered for holders of an EHIC card. The doctor or dentist must be registered with the public health service. If any fees are paid to a doctor, they will be reimbursed. Dental costs are partially reimbursed.

The EHIC also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions, although it does not cover you if you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment. In this case, see our section about Seeking medical treatment in Europe.

The EHIC also covers you for routine maternity care provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth.

Non-EEA nationals are not covered in Denmark.

Get the EHIC smartphone app

The European Commission has developed a useful multi-language free phone app that explains how to use the EHIC card in different countries within the EU. It outlines the treatments, costs, procedure for reimbursement and emergency numbers.

Find help in emergencies

If you find yourself in a serious life-threatening emergency, you should call 112. This number is free of charge from any phone. The Danish word for emergency is "nødsituation".

Other important phone numbers to note down:

  • 112 – police, ambulance and fire (European emergency number)
  • 114 – local police (not an emergency)

For injuries and sudden illness, there is a service that allows you to speak to a nurse or doctor before going into hospital, which can save on waiting times.

  • 1813 – Copenhagen and the surrounding area
  • (+45) 7015 0300 – north Denmark  
  • (+45) 7011 3131 – central Denmark 
  • (+45) 7011 0707 – southern Denmark 
  • (+45) 7015 0700 – Zealand

It may be a good idea to make a note of these useful Danish phrases for emergencies:

  • emergency = nødsituation
  • ambulance = ambulance
  • police = politiet
  • fire = brand

 

Health services and costs

Your EHIC does not cover private treatment. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are non-refundable. You should be particularly careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. They might reassure visitors that they can claim back whatever is paid out, but they are referring to private insurance and not the treatment given under the EHIC.

It's always advisable to have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Repatriation for medical treatment is not covered by the EHIC.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by you or your insurance company to apply for any refund or reimbursement.

If you move to Denmark long term or plan to work in the country, you'll have to register with the Civil Registration Office in your region (also known as municipality) to obtain a health insurance card (sygesikringskort) and your CPR number.

Denmark has a healthcare system that is financed through income tax, and is available to Danish residents and EU citizens free of charge. The health insurance card is sent to you by your municipal authority and is proof that you are entitled to public health treatment. The card states your name, address and CPR number, and the name and address of your GP.

You must take your health insurance card with you when you visit the GP, dentist and hospital, and when you travel outside Denmark. The health insurance card provides cover if you fall ill or have an accident while travelling in Europe, as long as the trip is for pleasure and you are away for less than a month.

Note: This arrangement expires on August 1 2014. Thereafter, you will need private travel insurance or a free EU health insurance card (blåt sygesikringskort, or blue health insurance card), which can be ordered at your municipal authority office.

For more information, visit the Danish e-Health portal or the National Agency for Patients' Rights and Complaints (Patientombuddet).

Doctors

To visit a doctor in Denmark, you need to call to make an appointment first. You must take your health insurance card with you.

There is an emergency doctor service (vagtlæge) if you are ill on weekdays after 4pm. You must have your EHIC or civil registration number to hand. You can also contact the emergency doctor on weekends and public holidays. The number to call depends on where in Denmark you are staying:

  • north Denmark: (+45) 7015 0300
  • central Denmark: (+45) 7011 3131
  • south Denmark: (+45) 7011 0707
  • Zealand: (+45) 7015 0700
  • capital region: (+45) 1813

Dentists

To visit a dentist in Denmark, you need to make an appointment first. Children are entitled to free dental care. If you are over the age of 18, you must find your own private dentist.

Patients have to contribute towards the cost of dental check-ups and treatments. The state pays part of the cost, which is deducted from your bill.

Hospitals

Emergency hospital treatment in a public hospital in Denmark is free. In most cases a referral from a doctor is required, unless you have an accident or acute illness. Examinations from a doctor or midwife during pregnancy and childbirth are also free of charge.

An interpreter can be present for people who do not speak Danish at appointments with a doctor, nurse or midwife, or in a hospital. They are provided free of charge.

Prescriptions

Prescription medicine is paid for by the patient. The majority of chemists are open from 9.30am to 5pm on weekdays and 9.30am to 12pm on Saturdays. Some chemists are open till 2pm on Saturdays. There are also a number of 24-hour pharmacies (døgnåbne apoteker).

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

The most common treatments or conditions that require advanced arrangements are listed below. You should consult your doctor for advice on all other conditions or treatments. Remember, you must present your EHIC for all treatments abroad.

Oxygen therapy

Ensure your EHIC is valid before you travel. In most cases you will have to use the authorised oxygen company for the country you are travelling to. You'll have to make your own arrangements, including arranging for permission from your hotel to deliver and install the equipment. There also may be additional costs that the EHIC will not cover.

Your home oxygen supplier is not required to provide a service outside the UK, but most suppliers will be able to advise you on what to do. Your oxygen treatment clinic will organise your home oxygen supply from one of these suppliers:

Air Liquide: Call them on:

  • 0808 143 9991 for London
  • 0808 143 9992 for North West
  • 0808 143 9993 for East Midlands
  • 0808 143 9999 for South West

Baywater Healthcare: covers Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands and Wales. Call them on 0800 373 580. For more information visit the Baywater Healthcare website.

BOC: covers the East and North East of England. Call them on 0800 136 603.

Dolby Vivisol: covers the South of England. Call them on 0500 823 773.

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) may have additional oxygen contacts for the country you are travelling to. Their website offers general advice about how to make travel arrangements, including advice on:

Ensure you allow plenty of time to make all your arrangements before you travel.

Dialysis

You will need to speak to the co-ordinator in your UK Dialysis Unit, who will contact the dialysis unit in Denmark nearest to where you will be staying. You can look up UK renal units on The Renal Association website.

TipEnsure you make arrangements according to your UK schedule. There also may be different guidance depending on what type of dialysis you receive. Make sure you speak to your doctor before you travel. The National Kidney Federation website offers general advice about travelling with a kidney disease, as well as specific guidance for haemodialysis patients, peritoneal dialysis patients, and guidelines for transplant patients.

Read more advice about travelling with other conditions:

Living and/or working in Denmark

Working in Denmark

If you move to Denmark long-term or plan to work in the country, you'll have to get a residence permit from the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingeservice). Once you get your residence permit, you will have to apply for a civil registration number at the Citizen Service. Take your passport along with your resident permit. You can only obtain a registration number if you have a permanent address and your stay is going to last longer than three months.

The website new to Denmark is the official portal for foreigners in Denmark and offers detailed guidance for everyone new to the country.

If you are a worker seconded to Denmark or the family member of someone making UK National Insurance contributions, your employer should contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for the following forms:

  • A1 (previously E101) – this will show that tax and NI contributions are paid in the UK
  • S1 (previously E106 or E109) – this will give you and your family the same medical cover as Danish residents

HMRC
Charity, Assets and Residence
Room BP1301
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

For more information, visit the Working abroad section.

Studying in Denmark

If you are going to study or are currently studying in Denmark as part of a UK-recognised course, you may be entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK government. Learn more in:

Pensioners

If you are living in Denmark and you receive a UK State Pension or long-term Incapacity Benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You'll need to apply for form S1 (a certificate of entitlement) from the International Pension Centre by calling 0191 218 7777. Once issued, register the S1 form with your local authorities before you register with your local GP surgery and obtain a medical card.

Once you have registered your S1 in Denmark, you will be entitled to apply for and use a UK-issued EHIC to access state-funded necessary medical treatment when you visit other EEA countries outside Denmark, including when you return to the UK.

The website Work in Denmark has a section covering information for pensioners.

 

Early retirees

From July 1 2014 you are no longer able to apply for residual S1 form.
If you already have a residual S1 this will not affect you – it will continue to be valid until its original expiry date. Find out more about the new rules.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides useful guide about Living in Denmark.

Page last reviewed: 25/04/2014

Next review due: 25/04/2016

Important updates

The Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are not part of the EEA. They have a separate reciprocal healthcare agreement with the UK, which only covers immediately necessary care.

 

EHIC changes

You will no longer be able to claim a refund in the UK for most patient co-payments for treatment recieved after July 1 2014

EHIC: packing for your holiday

Be prepared for your holiday, and make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It costs nothing to apply for or renew an EHIC. For more information call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999.

Media last reviewed: 22/08/2013

Next review due: 22/08/2015

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