Expatriates are entitled to free, state medical care, but must obtain a Health Card. Your health card will be created when you sign on to the Folkregister, the list of all of the residents of Denmark. You register at your local town hall and will be expected to show your residence permit, passport and evidence of address (such as the lease for your apartment). You will be asked to select a doctor from a list of local GPs and you will automatically be registered with their practice.
If you are resident in Denmark, you will have chosen a doctor when you registered on the Folkeregister at your local town hall.
The majority of Danes speak good English so it is unlikely that you will need to seek out an English speaking doctor. The general procedure to meet your GP is to call and make an appointment, either on the same day or the following days depending on how serious the illness is. Most doctors also have phone consultations 1 hour a day. To make an appointment with a medical specialist, physiotherapist, psychologist or a chiropodist , you will first need a referral from your GP. Payment is normally covered by your insurance. If you however need medical consultation while waiting for your insurance to come through, you will have to pick up the tabs yourself.
Opening hours and Emergency doctor: Danish doctors' opening hours are typically between 8 am and 4 pm. Some doctors have extended opening hours one or more days a week. In case of emergencies, you can also contact the emergency doctor. The emergency doctor's number is in the phone book and if he finds it necessary, the emergency doctor will come to your house. It is a good idea to have your health insurance certificate and information about your consumption of medicine ready, when you call the emergency doctor. This makes it easier for the doctor to assess the situation.
The majority of Danish hospitals are administered publicly (by the counties) and treatment is free of charge if you reside in Denmark. You can get assistance from an interpreter at the hospitals if the doctor finds it necessary.
You are free to choose the hospital you want to be hospitalized in. In most cases hospitalization only requires a referral from a doctor.The waiting lists depend on the hospital and the kind of treatment you need. You could also opt to be admitted to a private hospital or clinic. This however can be an expensive affair as you will have to pay for your own treatment. Some private insurances subsidise treatments in private hospitals.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Copenhagen is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Denmark. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Denmark: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.