Health Care in Sweden for Foreign Students
My name is Yansu. I come from China and am doing my exchange study here at Stockholm University. I find that the healthcare system in Sweden is quite different and the cost varies depending on a lot of factors.
Since I am traveling to the United States to pursue my Master’s degree this summer, I took some vaccinations as required by my American university in Stockholm several weeks ago. Also I went to a dentist recently because of my teeth problem. I am going to share these experiences with you in this blog. If you are seeking for some health service, say you are traveling to another country and plan to get a vaccination or you need to see a dentist, I hope this blog can bring you some useful information.
Student Health Service at Stockholm University
In general, if not emergent, you can always go to the Studenthuset. The walk-in reception is on Tuesday – Thursday from 13:00 to 16:00 at House Beta, room B228. If you have any questions about your health, you can always talk to a nurse there during the opening hours. The nurses at the Student Health Service are very kind and they provide very professional support and guidance. Don’t worry if they can’t deal with your problem because you will be given enough information about where to turn instead. Therefore, for international students who probably don’t know the Swedish healthcare system very well, it is a wise choice to first go to a nurse at the Studenthuset and ask questions, then you will know where to go and what should you do next.
If you have any psychological problems such as depression or stress, you can also talk to a counsellor. Different from nurse, consultation with a counsellor needs an appointment in advance.
It is worth noting that consultation and counselling are free of charge for all students including international students. For more detailed information about the Student Health Service at Stockholm University, check the website below.
Since I had no idea of the Swedish healthcare system at the beginning, I just went to the Student Health Service provided by Stockholm University as I mentioned above. I met with a very helpful nurse, told her my problems that I needed the vaccination and the physician to sign the medical report required by the university. After knowing my problem, she tried her best to give me the related information. Then I knew where I could seek for further help.
I ended up at CityAkuten Vaccination. You may need to make an appointment online or by phone. Unfortunately, the website is in Swedish. So it might be difficult for an international student to book the appointment online. But you can always go to the place in person and make an appointment with them there. That’s what I did because I don’t know Swedish very well. Since my case was a little bit special, I went to CityAkuten Vaccination and told them my situation. Afterwards, everything went on smoothly. I made an appointment and took the vaccination that I needed.
If you are travelling to another country and considering about vaccination for your own health, there are many vaccination places you can go to and their prices can vary. You can always check the price on their website and choose one. If you are in the same situation as I was that you need to get certain vaccination and have the vaccination record signed, I will recommend you CityAkuten Vaccination because they deal with such cases for many times every year so they have the experience.
The price of vaccination is high here in Sweden. So the best way is to check with your insurance company if all or part of the cost can be covered. And remember to ask them if you can get a student discount for the vaccination. Many places offer a student about 10% off.
Dental Care in Sweden is a pain and can get expensive very quickly. There are plenty of places to get dental care in Sweden, from private to independent practices. You can google “Folktandvården” or “Tandläkare.se” in order to find a dental clinic that fits your need well. Make sure you ask to have a consultation in English if your Swedish is not great. Pretty much everywhere can do this but it’s always nice to give them a heads up. Some places like Folktandvården have an additional “last minute” booking option, where clients can pick an open slot available today and pay a much lower fee.
Since advanced dental care in Sweden can get expensive, it could be worth looking into insurance. You can look at health insurance companies, but also plans from the dental practice you go to. Standard dental care is free for children and teenagers up to the age of 20. If you are under 29, you can also get tandvårdsbidrag which can take 150-300 SEK off the cost of your dental care checkup. Ask your dentist for more information on current prices and what subsidies you can get. There is “high-cost protection” in place, where you will not pay more than 3000 SEK for most types of dental care. This applies to most types of dental care, so again check with your dentist what is included.
Usually, for students who will be staying in Sweden for more than a year, you can you can register with the Swedish Tax Agency for a personal identity number. Once you’ve received your number, you’ll be entitled to all healthcare and pay Swedish patient fees, which means you can save a lot of money for your dental care. However, if you don’t have a personal identity number, then you will have to turn to your own health insurance either provided by an insurance company in Sweden or your home country. If you don’t have any insurance covering your dental expenses, you will need to pay for the full amount.
Finally, Vårdguiden (1177) goes into more detail about extra details around dental care if you need more advanced information. The website link is below.
*The pictures are from the Internet