If you need medical care
Last updated: 13 3 2019
You are entitled to medical and dental care if you need it. There are many different types of medical care in Sweden. This page provides help in finding the right care for you.
If you are under 18 years of age and seeking asylum in Sweden you are entitled to the same medical and dental care as other children and young people in Sweden. Medical care is usually free if you are under 18.
If you are over 18 and seeking asylum in Sweden you are entitled to emergency medical and dental care. You are also entitled to medical treatment if you have a condition that may become an emergency if it is not treated. The doctor determines whether your condition may become an emergency.
If you are over 18 and have been granted a residence permit you are entitles to the same medical and dental care as everyone else in Sweden.
Important points if you need to seek medical care
Take your LMA (asylum seeker) card
You have to take your LMA card with you when you seek medical care. You also have to show your LMA card when to get any medication you have been prescribed from a pharmacy. If you have not received your LMA card yet, you have to show the receipt you were given when you sought asylum.
If you have been granted a residence permit in Sweden you need to take your ID card with you when you seek medical care or get medication you have been prescribed.
Confidentiality obligation for medical care staff
All medical care staff in Sweden are bound by a confidentiality obligation. This means that they are not allowed to tell anyone else anything about you unless you have given them permission to do so. What you tell the medical care staff will not affect your chances of getting a residence permit in Sweden. Interpreters working for the health and medical care services also have a confidentiality obligation, and staff in pharmacies are also bound by it.
Interpretation into other languages
If you don't speak Swedish that well, you are entitled to be helped by an interpreter when you are in contact with authorities and medical care staff. For example, you are entitled to take an interpreter along when you are seeing a doctor or someone else in medical or dental care services.
Using pictures when talking to medical care staff
It is important that you understand what medical care staff are saying, and that they understand what you are saying. There are pictures you can use when meeting with medical care staff.
Finding the right medical care
School health services
Everyone who attends school in Sweden is entitled to receive help from the school health services. This means that you can see a school nurse or doctor at your school. There is also a school welfare officer or a psychologist that you can talk to if you are unhappy or feeling mentally unwell.
If you are uncertain about whether to seek medical care, you can call 1177 Vårdguiden. The phone number is 1177. You will be connected to a nurse who can give you advice. The nurse can also give you information about where you should go for the right type of medical care. You can call 1177 at any time of the day or night. Some county councils can give you advice in other languages than Swedish.
Medical care centres
Usually you should contact a medical care centre first if you become ill or have some physical complaint. At the medical care centre they will be able to help you with most things. You can also contact a medical care centre if you feel mentally unwell. The medical care centre can help you get in touch with mental health clinics.
Emergency medical care
If you or someone else is very seriously ill or injured, you must seek help at an Akutmottagning, or Akuten for short. Hospitals have Akutmottagningar and these are open around the clock, every day of the year.
If you or someone else is feeling very mentally unwell and needs help quickly, you should go to an Akutmottagning for mental illness (psykiatrisk akutmottagning). You can call 1177 to find out where the nearest one is.
The 112 emergency number
In an emergency situation where someone's life is in danger, call 112. You will quickly be given help. If necessary an ambulance will be sent to take you to Akutmottagningen. The 112 emergency number operators will put you in contact with the ambulance service, the police and the fire service.
There are also clinics with various specialists, such as psychiatrists, eye specialists and dermatologists, that most medical care centres do not have.
If you are under 18 years old and seeking asylum in Sweden you are entitled to free dental care. If you have been granted a residence permit you will receive free dental care until the year you turn 22.
All children and young people in Sweden have regular check-ups at the dentist. Usually you will be called to a dentist once a year. The check-ups are done so that your teeth remain healthy and any cavities, for example, can be treated.
If you are an asylum seeker you will be called to dental check-ups until you turn 18.
If you have been granted a residence permit you will be called to dental check-ups until the year you turn 22.
Medicines are sold in pharmacies. Some medicines are only available on prescription from a doctor. The staff in pharmacies know a lot about different illnesses and can give you advice about medicines. Pharmacy staff have a confidentiality obligation.