Health and medical care in Sweden

Depending on your condition, there are different ways to seek the care you need. If it is not urgent, we recommend that you start by calling the medical advise for guidance.

Healthcare centres

If you are suffering from some kind of health problem and need care, a health centre is generally the place to begin. They will treat you immediately and refer you to a specialist clinic if they can't provide all the services you require. Healthcare centres are open daytime Monday - Friday. There is a limited number of available times per day so make sure to call early in the morning. You will find a list of all available healthcare centres in Umeå on the website 1177, link below. 

Medical advise

If you need medical advise or guidance you can dial the Swedish Health care guide on 1177. This is a twenty-four hours service with advising nurses that can give you guidance and recommendations on where to seek medical care. You will have a shorter waiting time and receive better care if you obtain the right information from the very start. Service is free of charge and you only need to pay the regular phone tariff for the call.

At the website 1177 you can read more about the healthcare system, including general information on patient rights, advice on basic healthcare and help to find a healthcare clinic.


If you need medical care in evenings or weekends you can visit Ålidhems Health Centre at Tvistevägen 2. Start by calling 1177 and they will guide you to get the best care possible.

The emergency room at the hospital is open around the clock. If you have a severe illness, acute injury or other condition that must be addressed immediately, you should go to the emergency room.

Dental Care

There are several public and private dentistry clinics in Umeå. The closest one to campus is situated in the University Hospital in connection with the Dentistry School. If you agree to receive treatment from a supervised dentistry student, you can get cheaper treatment.

Costs for healthcare

Staying one year or more in Sweden

Access to subsidised healthcare in Sweden is based on residency. If you are planning on staying for one year or more you should register at the Tax Agency and receive a Swedish personal identity number. This means that you are entitled to health and medical care on the same terms as Swedish citizens.

EU/EEA or Swiss citizens staying less than one year in Sweden

EU/EEA or Swiss citizens – insured in another EU/EEA country planning on staying less than one year – are entitled to necessary healthcare from the public healthcare in Sweden provided that they have:

  • a valid passport or national ID card
  • European Health Insurance Card (EU card) or a provisional replacement certificate of the EHIC card
  • a certificate to prove their right to care benefits in Sweden for people who are residents in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland. Please contact the Social Insurance Agency to apply for a certificate.

Nordic citizens

Nordic citizens receive subsidised medical care if they are able to present valid identification and an address in another Nordic country. Nordic citizens can find more information on Försäkringskassans webpage.
Nordic Convention on Social Security (in Swedish)

Non-EU citizens staying less than one year in Sweden

If you plan to stay less than one year, you might not have access to the subsidised healthcare. The Social Insurance Agency is responsible for the administration regarding your rights. Learn more

Umeå University has signed an insurance policy (Insurance for foreign visitors) for those who are not covered by the Swedish healthcare system. The insurance covers necessary and reasonable costs for emergency medical and dental care. Accompanying spouse, cohabitants and children are also covered by the insurance. Please note, that the insurance only covers emergency care and not regular health checks, vaccinations or prenatal care. Therefore, we recommend you to sign up for a complete health insurance before you travel to Sweden.
Learn more

For more information see Kammarkollegiet


In Sweden you have to go to a pharmacy to get all prescription and most non-prescription medication. Sweden is quite restrictive when it comes to medicinal drugs and you will need a prescription to buy a lot of the medication that you might be able to buy without a prescription in other countries. Some non-prescription medications can be bought in supermarkets, convenience stores and gas stations as well. Most health centres have a pharmacy.

Rosita Nilsson