If you work legally in Denmark, public medical help and hospital treatment are free of charge for you and your family. However, you need to pay for medicine and dental treatment. You can read more about: General practitioner, Private healthcare, Hospital treatment, Medicine and pharmacies, Dental care, The Danish healthcare sector.
GP – your family doctor
Once you are registered in the Civil Registration System, you are entitled to choose a general practitioner (GP) you can contact if you fall ill.
Your GP will also handle prescriptions, vaccinations, and certain types of contraception, and will also assist you with regard to disease prevention.
You will need to make an appointment before going to see your GP. If you fall ill or suffer an injury outside your own GP's normal opening hours, you can call the out-of-hours medical service.
In most cases, the GP is your entry point to the Danish health-care system. If you need to be treated at the accident and emergency department (A&E) or receive hospital and specialist treatment, you will usually need a referral from your GP.
You can choose which GP you prefer with regard to sex, age, etc. The choice of GP is made in connection with the issuance of your personal health insurance card.
The citizen services of your municipality will give you a list of doctors you can choose between. You can register with a new GP whenever you want to. It costs a small fee.
Apart from the public healthcare system, Denmark has a number of private hospitals and health clinics where you pay for treatment. The public health system has waiting lists for certain kinds of treatment, in which case you may choose a private hospital or clinic to avoid waiting for treatment. In some cases, the public healthcare system will pay. Regardless of whether you choose public or private treatment, the quality of medical treatment in Denmark is generally very high.
Many Danes have health insurance that covers the expenses for using private healthcare services. The insurance covers services, which may mean that you in certain cases will be diagnosed more quickly or have certain kinds of surgery performed more quickly at a private hospital than the public hospital can offer. Private health insurance typically covers services not covered by public authorities, for example physiotherapy, zone therapy, and a number of other services. At a number of Danish workplaces, a health insurance is part of the employment contract and is paid by the employer.
In addition, you can choose to take out an insurance policy through the health mutual insurance company "Danmark" (Sygeforsikringen "Danmark"), which will reimburse you some of your medical expenses for glasses, dental treatment, medicine, etc.
If you need to be examined or treated at a hospital, you must first obtain a referral from your own GP, a specialist doctor or from the out-of-hours medical service.
You will receive an appointment from the hospital, which will send information on where and when you need to come.
You are entitled to interpreter assistance if the doctor deems this necessary.
Medicine and pharmacies
Prescription medicines are only available for purchase at pharmacies. A doctor's or dentist's prescription is required in order to purchase prescription medicines.
Over-the-counter medicines are available for purchase without a prescription at pharmacies and approved supermarkets, kiosks, drug stores and petrol stations.
Most pharmacies are open from 9:30-17:30 on weekdays and from 9:30-13:00 on Saturdays. If you need to purchase medicine outside of these opening hours, most major Danish cities have a 24-hour pharmacy.
In Denmark, there is a partial charge for dental care. You have to pay for check-ups and treatment, but part of the bill is government funded. This amount is automatically deducted from your bill.
You are free to choose any dentist. You may choose any dentist of your own choice, and once you are assigned to a clinic, the dentist is responsible for asking you to come for check-ups at regular intervals.
Children and young people below 18 years of age are entitled to free dental treatment.
If you have an accident involving your teeth, there are emergency dentists that are open outside normal opening hours.
The Danish healthcare sector
Denmark is divided into five regions. They are in charge of running hospitals and (through collective agreements) managing the general practitioner system.
The hospital sector is responsible for specialised examinations as well as treatment and care of somatic and mental illnesses. A GP will refer patients to a hospital or to a specialist for specialised treatment.
Hospital treatment is free of charge for residents in any region of Denmark, and emergency treatment is available to any person in need.