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Living in Denmark?

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Jürgen Hofmeister

Living in Denmark, from Switzerland

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Denmark at a Glance

Healthcare in Denmark

Denmark has quite a lot in store for expatriates from all over the world. With just over 5.5 million inhabitants, it is the most densely populated country in Scandinavia. Our InterNations guide on living in Denmark offers advice on healthcare, housing, and all you need to know about life in Denmark.

Denmark’s Healthcare System

Denmark has a comprehensive healthcare system with a vast choice of medical services and facilities. All citizens have equal access to these services, including doctors, hospitals, specialists, home care, and more. The municipalities themselves handle specific services, issue health insurance cards, and administer health insurance schemes and citizens’ choice of their general practitioner. Denmark’s five regions, on the other hand, operate hospitals and handle psychiatric treatment.

Public Health Insurance

Once you register in Denmark and receive your CPR number (i.e. your personal ID number for your life in Denmark) as well as your yellow health insurance card, you are automatically entitled to access public health services. Unfortunately, the public health insurance rarely covers all of a patient’s needs. That’s why you should consider taking out private health insurance in addition to your public insurance coverage.

You have to bring your yellow insurance card to each visit to your general practitioner, to the hospital, dentist, or emergency ward. The card is automatically sent to you by the municipality and carries your name, address, and CPR number as well as the contact information of your general practitioner. It also entitles you to emergency treatment in other European countries for up to one month after leaving Denmark.

Doctors and Hospitals in Denmark

You can freely choose your general practitioner (GP) when you register in Denmark. For instance, you can indicate if you want a male or female doctor. As mentioned above, the name and address of your GP will appear on your yellow insurance card. He or she is then the first person you should approach if you have any medical problems to either be treated right away or to get a referral to a specialist or hospital for further treatment. Visit Sundhed to search for a GP.

The freedom of choice also applies to hospital care. Keep in mind, however, that not all hospitals in Denmark offer the same specialized departments. This means that you may have to travel a while to find the help that you need. Consult your GP for more information on hospital care.

Emergency

Of course, medical emergencies can occur anytime and anywhere. Thus, if your GP is unavailable, dial 112 to reach an emergency call center. You will first hear the message: “De har kaldt alarmcentralen 112. Brandyæsen, politi og ambulance. Vent roligt her.” (“You have called the emergency call center 112. Fire service, police and ambulance. Please wait.”) After 10 seconds you will be redirected to an emergency center employee who speaks English and who will give you further directions or send an ambulance to you.

If you simply need a doctor after four pm or on the weekend, you need to call the emergency doctor service. To find out how to reach this service, please visit Vagtlaegen.dk. You will be asked about your well-being and be given a recommendation of whether to visit your own doctor the next day or if you should visit the emergency doctor service or a hospital.

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