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Healthcare in Denmark

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you'd 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

Finding help in an emergency

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's 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

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an European Health Insurance card (EHIC).

You should always buy enough travel insurance and make sure you have access to funding to cover any medical treatment abroad.

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.

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

If you're asked to pay for health services upfront, it's likely that you're not being treated under the state health system.

EHIC does not cover certain costs, including:

  • private treatment
  • being brought back to the UK
  • mountain rescue services
  • cruises

It's important that you ensure you're treated by a healthcare provider in the state system as you will not be covered for private healthcare.

You should be particularly careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are non-refundable.

Provisional replacement certificate (PRC)

A PRC is a certificate demonstrating a person's entitlement to EHIC.

If you need healthcare but do not have your EHIC with you, you can call Overseas Healthcare Services and ask them to send a PRC to show to the hospital. This will avoid you being directly charged.

Contact Overseas Healthcare Services:

UK: 0191 218 1999
Outside UK: +44 191 218 1999

Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm UK time.

People with pre-existing health conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Denmark.

You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have to make sure you can get the cover you need.

If you have an EHIC, this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU, but may not work after that.

If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel.

Make sure you take any documents about your health condition or medication with you.

If you're travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, see our section about seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Dentists

Consultations with dentist are covered for holders of an EHIC. The dentist must be registered with the state health service.

If any fees are paid, these will be partially reimbursed.

Hospitals

Just like in the UK, doctor's referrals are required for non-emergency hospital treatment.

Emergency hospital treatment in a state hospital is free. 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're provided free of charge.

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

Prescriptions

Prescription medicine is paid for by the patient.

The majority of 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 a number of 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 extra legal controls apply to these medicines.

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

Specific requirements also apply to:

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

You can visit the GOV.UK website for more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

After the UK leaves the EU

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting Denmark is likely to change.

If you're planning to visit Denmark after the UK leaves the EU, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

If you're using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

The UK government is seeking agreements with countries, including Denmark, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after the UK leaves the EU.

This guide will be updated with further information on travelling to Denmark as the circumstances change.

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

Working in Denmark

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

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.

If you're a worker posted by a UK company to Denmark, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you're posted to.

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for more details:

National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AN
United Kingdom

Telephone: 0300 200 3500
Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010

Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (closed weekends and bank holidays).

For more information, see Planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

After the UK leaves the EU

If you reside in Denmark and 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, including non-emergency healthcare.

If you're a UK posted worker, you may also need to be registered with the Civil Registration System and in possession of a healthcare insurance card to continue to receive the healthcare you need.

Alternatively, you may need private healthcare insurance.

Pensioners in Denmark

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

If you live in Denmark and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK.

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

You may need to liaise with a different team, depending on the exportable benefit.

Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website.

Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)

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

If you have an S1 certificate, it'll be valid until the UK leaves the EU. After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states.

You should continue to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate if you:

  • have worked and paid contributions in the UK
  • receive some UK benefits, such as pensions

Apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority

For exportable UK pensions and contribution-based Employment Support Allowance, you can apply for your certificate via the International Pension Centre at the Department for Work and Pensions on 0191 218 7777.

Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website.

Different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

After the UK leaves the EU

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 do not have residency, you may need to apply. There are several different work permits you can get to be employed in Denmark.

Special circumstances may apply to UK nationals who have moved to Denmark as EU citizens, but further information will be made available when it's known.

You may need to register with the Civil Registration System and apply for a healthcare insurance card or take out private healthcare insurance.

Students in Denmark

If you're a UK resident and studying in Denmark, and you have an EHIC, this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

It's recommended that you continue to buy healthcare insurance in addition to your EHIC.

If you're a UK resident and studying in Denmark, you may need to apply for a residence permit.

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.

Find out more about applying for residence permits

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