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Healthcare in Denmark

On this page you will find information on the healthcare access you're entitled to and how to get it whether you're:

  • moving to, or already living in Denmark (including students)
  • visiting Denmark, for example on holiday

Your options for how you access healthcare in Denmark may change if there is a no-deal Brexit. You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances if you are moving to, visiting or living in Denmark.

Living in Denmark after Brexit

You should be ready for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there is a no-deal Brexit and you are a UK national living in Denmark.

There may be a gap or permanent change in how you access healthcare if there is no deal and no agreements with Denmark in place. For example, if you are a current S1 form holder, or a posted worker or student using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you will not be able to rely on these to access your healthcare as you do now.

The Danish parliament has adopted legislation that will establish a temporary transitional scheme governing the rights of UK nationals in Denmark if there is a no-deal Brexit. It states that UK nationals lawfully residing in Denmark before the withdrawal date, will be entitled to current healthcare benefits until 31 December 2020. This only applies to British citizens already resident in Denmark at the time of the UK's withdrawal.

You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances and consider:

Make sure you have all the right documentation and it is up to date.

If you reside in Denmark and are registered with the Civil Registration System and in possession of a Danish healthcare insurance card, you're entitled to full access to the Danish state healthcare system.

You should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK if you are living in Denmark and are not currently eligible for a UK-issued S1 form or EHIC. You should take out appropriate travel insurance when visiting the UK, as you would when visiting any other country.

You may use NHS services in England, Scotland and Wales without charge when visiting the UK after exit day if you are living in Denmark before exit day and you:

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test you will be able to access NHS care without charge.

Visiting Denmark after Brexit

You should prepare for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there is a no-deal Brexit and you are a UK national travelling to Denmark.

UK-issued EHICs will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Your EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Denmark and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare cover to ensure you can get any treatment you might need. If you have any pre-existing health conditions, talk to your GP and insurer about how to get the right cover, and how this affects your travel.

Further information can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

This guide will be updated when there is more information on travelling to and living in Denmark.

Healthcare in Denmark until the UK leaves the EU

Finding help in an emergency

If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance, call 112. This number is free of charge.

The Danish word for emergency is "nødsituation".

Visiting Denmark

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you're planning to visit Denmark. The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas. Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an EHIC.

Your EHIC enables you to access necessary state-provided healthcare in Denmark at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, if you're staying there temporarily.

Make sure you're treated by a healthcare provider in the state system as you will not be covered for private healthcare with an EHIC.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork.

Pre-existing health conditions

You should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Denmark if you have a pre-existing health condition. You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, so that you can get the cover you need.

If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel. Take any documents about your health condition or medicine with you.

Your EHIC will be valid until the UK leaves the EU. Your EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Denmark and might mean you need to pay for treatment.

If you are travelling to have planned medical treatment, read our guide to seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Dentists

You will be covered for consultations with a dentist if you have an EHIC. The dentist must be registered with the state health service.

If you have to pay any fees, these will be partially reimbursed.

Hospitals

Doctor's referrals are required for non-emergency hospital treatment.

Emergency hospital treatment in a state hospital is free for people with an EHIC. Examinations from a doctor or midwife during pregnancy and childbirth are also free of charge.

Where possible, tell the hospital that you'll need the service before your arrival.

Prescriptions

Prescription medicine is paid for by the patient. However, support is given for specific types of medicine (support-based medicine) by the public healthcare system depending on:

  • how much medicine is bought within a year
  • whether the patient is an adult or a child

Most pharmacies are open from 9.30am to 5pm on weekdays and 9.30am to 12pm on Saturdays. Some are open until 2pm on Saturdays.

There are also some 24-hour pharmacies (døgnåbne apoteker).

Bringing your own medicines to Denmark

Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK. This means that additional legal controls apply to these medicines.

You may need a personal license to take controlled medicines abroad.

Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information that you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

Visit GOV.UK for more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

Living in Denmark

If you reside in Denmark and are registered with the Civil Registration System and in possession of a Danish healthcare insurance card, you're entitled to full access to the Danish state healthcare system.

S1 certificate

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Denmark and receive:

  • an exportable UK State Pension
  • a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance
  • another exportable benefit

You'll need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants to access healthcare in Denmark.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:

  • receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension
  • are employed by a UK body or firm (you are a posted or frontier worker)
  • are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

If you receive a UK State Pension, you can apply for your certificate via the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (option 5).

If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Your S1 certificate may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Denmark and may mean you need to pay in full for treatment. It is important to have all the right documentation and that it is up to date.

For other exportable benefits, you may need to liaise with a different team depending on the exportable benefit. You can find more information under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on GOV.UK. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

UK posted workers

You're entitled to full access to the Danish state healthcare system if you're a worker posted by a UK company to Denmark, registered with the Civil Registration System and in possession of a Danish healthcare insurance card.

You can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC):

Students in Denmark

If you're a UK resident studying in Denmark, you are recommended to apply for a residence permit as soon as possible. When you have received your registration certificate, you should register in the Civil Registration System (CPR) as soon as possible.

If you're resident in Denmark, are registered with the Civil Registration System and in possession of the healthcare insurance card, you're entitled to full access to the Danish state healthcare system.

If you choose not to register and remain a UK resident while studying in Denmark, your student EHIC will only be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive insurance when going overseas. Your EHIC is not an alternative to insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Read more about healthcare when studying abroad.

For more information about healthcare when living abroad, read our guide on planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

Page last reviewed: 28 August 2019
Next review due: 28 August 2022