Healthcare in Iceland

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.

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will enable you to access state-provided healthcare at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, providing the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth.

Note: You may be asked to present your passport or other travel document as proof of identity.

Finding help in an emergency

If you find yourself in a serious or life-threatening emergency during your stay in Iceland, dial 112.

Calls to this number are free of charge from any phone, including mobiles. Ambulance services are not free of charge, so it is best to only call an ambulance if the patient is not in a fit state to go by car, taxi or bus.

There is a fixed charge for EHIC holders. If you can’t show a valid EHIC, you will have to pay the full cost.

You might want to download the 112 Iceland App, which provides added safety if you plan a lot of outdoor activities in Iceland.

Other important numbers to note down are:

  • 1770 – medical assistance
  • 444 1000 – police
  • 575 0505 – dental emergencies

Health services and costs

The EHIC does not cover you for private treatment. Make sure you are covered under the Icelandic public healthcare system when you see a doctor.

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 could be referring to private insurance rather than 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.

Even with the EHIC, you are required to make a patient contribution. The fee applies for each consultation and other services, and is fixed by a regulation. Without the EHIC, you will be charged the full cost of the treatment, according to tariffs. You must present your EHIC, personal identification papers and documents proving your citizenship (i.e. passport). For more advice, visit the Icelandic Health Insurance (Sjukratryggingar Islands) website.

If you move to Iceland for more than six months, you will have to register with the Icelandic Health Insurance Fund (Sjukratryggingar Islands) to obtain state-funded healthcare, with residents required to make co-payments to their health insurance. For more information and registration forms, visit the Sjukratryggingar Islands website.

Medical care, including dentistry, is provided in health centres (heilsugæslustöð or heilsugaeslustod), which are available in all districts of Iceland and are open between 8am and 4pm. You will be charged ISK 1,200 or ISK 600 if you are in receipt of a state pension – this is non-refundable. Children under the age of 18 are not charged.

Find Healthcare centres in Reykjavik, including ones that are open outside regular office hours. Note: just like in the UK, residents have to register with a GP first.


Children under the age of 18, state pensioners over the age of 66 and those receiving invalidity benefits are entitled to a partial reimbursement for dental treatment. You will have to pay the bill in full and then seek reimbursement at the local Icelandic Health Insurance office. Make sure you keep the receipt, have a valid EHIC and prove that you are a pensioner or entitled to benefits.

Slightly different rules apply to residents. For more advice, take a look at the Sjukratryggingar Islands website.

Hospital treatment

To be admitted to hospital, you need a referral from a GP. Immediate admissions are only possible in emergencies. Generally, there is no charge for inpatient treatment. However, you will be charged IKR 5,400 for outpatient treatment.


You can go to any pharmacy (apótek) in Iceland. Alongside your prescription, you should provide proof of your entitlement to state healthcare. Prescription charges vary and range from 0% to 100%, according to the standard prescription categories. If you cannot provide proof of entitlement, e.g. EHIC or other entitlement form if you are living in Iceland, you will be charged the full price. Prescription charges are non-refundable.

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

The most common treatments or conditions that require advanced arrangements are listed below. For all other conditions or treatments, you should consult your doctor. 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 will also have to make your own arrangements, including arranging for permission from your hotel to deliver and install the equipment. There may also be additional costs that the EHIC will not cover.

Your home oxygen supplier is not required to provide a service outside the UK; however, most suppliers can offer advice 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 travelling abroad with a lung condition.

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


You need to speak to the co-ordinator at your UK dialysis unit, who will contact the dialysis unit in Iceland nearest to where you will be staying. However, the arrangement of your dialysis will be subject to availability in Iceland.

Global Dialysis has more information about dialysis facilities worldwide. Alternatively, you can contact:

Landspitali University Hospital Dialysis Unit

Fossvogur, 108 Reykjavík

Telephone: 00354 543 63 31

Ensure you make your 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. In addition, visit the National Kidney Federation website, which 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:

If you move to Iceland long term, or plan to work in the country, you need to register with the Icelandic authorities. Everyone who is legally a resident in Iceland for six months automatically becomes a member of the Icelandic social insurance system, regardless of nationality. For more detailed information, visit the Social Insurance Administration (Tryggingastofnun Rikisins) website.

Once you are registered to work in Iceland, you'll be entitled to state-run healthcare on the same basis as a Icelandic national. However, you will also have to register with the Icelandic Health Insurance Fund (Sjukratryggingar Islands) to obtain state-funded healthcare. Residents are required to make co-payments to their health insurance. For more information and registration forms, visit the Sjukratryggingar Islands website.

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Iceland, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in Iceland. 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 3506
  • Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010
  • Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday – closed weekends and bank holidays

For more information, visit the Moving abroad section.

Studying in Iceland

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

Visit the Studying in Iceland website for information on healthcare cover and general tips on living in Iceland

You may also want to read our pages on:


If you live in Iceland and you 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 will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 form.

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

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.

Once issued, register the S1 form with the relevant authority in Iceland. Often you need to do this before you can register for healthcare or obtain a medical card.

Once you have registered your S1 in Iceland, 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.

Page last reviewed: 11/08/2016
Next review due: 11/08/2019