If you are moving to Denmark soon, you must be wondering how the health services look like.
Well, no worries, we are here to explain to the best of our understanding. And if there are any further queries, please let us know in the comments.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for establishing the overall context of health and elderly care.
The legislation considers all of the regions, municipalities and related authorities. Respective councils govern the five regions in Denmark with 41 members each. The regions are accountable for hospital care along with emergency services, psychiatry, services provided by general practitioners (GP) and private practice specialists.
Here we look into the relevant ones for new students in Denmark.
General Information about the Health Care System in Denmark
There are two types of health insurance groups in Denmark, Group 1 and 2. The citizens who are in group 1 have registration with a specific GP. They have the right to free medical assistance from their GP, and private specialists in case they get referral from their GP.
Nevertheless, a referral is not required for you to visit some specialists on your own, like when you go to ophthalmologists, otologists and dentists. In Denmark, more than 99% of the patients are included in group 1.
In the case of Group 2 patients, they have the right to receive medical assistance from any GP and could visit private medical specialists without a referral. The services may be subjected to co-payments.
The primary healthcare sector includes the services given by other health care professionals such as physiotherapists, psychologists and dentists. Any treatments by them involve a co-payment; moreover, public subsidies may be available under specific circumstances.
The GPs are the primary contact point for the citizens and residents of Denmark and hence are in a key position in the Danish Health care system. Residents, at first, contact their GP and then get further access to other services.
How to register with a doctor?
When you are applying for your CPR number, the respective commune or local administration will give you a choice of having a male or female doctor. They will assign you to the nearest available doctor, known as your GP. In case you change your CPR number or home address, the doctor you are assigned to changes as well. And in some cases, they will allow you to choose your doctor or change them as well.
A health insurance card, also known as the yellow card in Denmark, will be issued under your name. It has your details of CPR registration number along with the name, address and contact details of your GP. It is always mandatory to carry your health insurance card with you.
How to make an appointment with your doctor in Denmark?
All the appointments with your GP are free of cost. You can get the appointment by calling your GP between 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM during weekdays. You can contact your GP later in case they mention a different number or time. This is usually mentioned at the end of a call-in case it goes into voicemail. Also, you can pay a visit to your GP and get an appointment through their assistant. You usually get an appointment after a week or two of reaching out to your GP.
It is sometimes also possible to make appointments online. If you go on your GP's website, you might find an option of self-service. Thus, you log in to the self-service with your NemID (MitID). Apart from scheduling appointments, you can also ask questions to your GP or renew prescriptions for medicine.
Any medical assistance from your GP, along with their reference, can be free as well. But it must be a recommendation from your GP. This includes mental health care, as well. Your GP can provide you with therapeutic consultations, but their responsibility is limited to early detection and referral.
Going to the Pharmacy
Pharmacies in Denmark, known as Apotek, assist you with over the counter medical drugs in case of common and treatable diseases. You do not need a doctor’s prescription for this. However, you need to precisely mention them your symptoms and illness for them to suggest you the best OTC medicine.
When you take a token number in the pharmacy for your turn, there are two categories. One with a prescription and another without a prescription, choose according to your need.
If you need medicine for which you have a prescription from your GP, then you have to scan your yellow card when you take the token number. Afterwards just wait for your turn in the queue.
If you need more basic medicine such as paracetamol/ibuprofen pills, throat pills, nose spray etc., you can also find these sold over the counter in most grocery stores.
Online Self Service Systems
The national website provides access to your health records and data. You can also communicate with your GP over emails in case your problem can be solved with online consultation. You can do this by logging in with your NemID in the website Laegevejen.dk. After you land on this page, there will be clear instructions on how to find your doctor and communicate with them.
Health insurance for travelling in Europe
Once you get your CPR number and your health card (yellow card), you are basically covered by health insurance here in Denmark. This also means that you are entitled to receive a blue EU card from Denmark, covering health insurance if you travel to one of the EU/EAA countries. You must apply for the European health insurance card here (the online application is in Danish).
This is how the blue EU card looks like
Is dental care free in Denmark?
Dental treatment is free in Denmark for children under 18 years of age. People over the age of 18 years are required to pay for dental check-ups and treatments.
You need to make an appointment and be there on time. You need to take your health card (yellow card) with you. Dentists might charge you an extra fee in case you are late for an appointment or do not give them enough time to cancel your appointment.
You can find a dental clinic by searching for Dentists in The Danish Dental Association. The dental services have a common phone number + 45 40 51 51 62 where you can get information on emergency dental service opening hours in Danish.