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Health Services in Denmark: Is It Free To Visit a Doctor?

Updated: Nov 10, 2023


Free To Visit a Doctor

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.

Free To Visit a Doctor

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.

Health Care System

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.

CPR Registration Number

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.

Going to the Pharmacy

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).

Health insurance for travelling in Europe

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.

dental care free in Denmark

The phone line is available on Fridays between 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and on Sundays and bank holidays it is answered from 10:00 to 11:00 and from 12:00 to 13:00 hours.

However, in case you are living on a budget, it might be tough for you to afford dental care. So it is highly recommended that you take care of your oral health wisely. The dental care is not covered by national health insurance, so always remember to bring cash or card, for payment.

Emergency Health Care Information

Health Care Information

Medical Helpline

Medical Helpline 1813 is the emergency number in the Capital Region of Denmark. When your GP is unavailable or closed, the medical helpline has physicians and nurses that assist you in case of urgencies.

You can call them after 16:00 hours on any day. The nurses and physicians refer you to the local hospital's emergency department for urgent care.

You can go to a hospital for urgent care needs; however, it will take a longer time for them to cater to your needs. Therefore, it is better to call them and then visit the hospital.

Life-Threatening Issues

In case you or somebody you know is suffering from a sudden acute illness (for instance heart attack or stroke) or injury, then call 112. They include emergency services like police and ambulance services.

You can call them in case of serious crimes, accidents or fire. The staff will question you on what happened, the time and place of the incident and the description of the damage/injury. Do not call 112 unless it is a very critical issue, since your number might be blocked for the emergency call.

Hopefully, the above information is useful and enough for you to understand the health care services available to you. In case of further questions, please let us know through the comments. We would love to make our information as useful as possible.

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