Denmark has a comprehensive healthcare system with a vast selection of medical services and facilities. All citizens have equal access to medical care, which includes doctors, hospitals, specialists, and more.
The individual municipalities handle specific services themselves, issue health insurance cards, and administer health insurance schemes. Denmark’s five regions, meanwhile, operate hospitals, handle psychiatric treatment, and manage citizens’ choice of general practitioner.
Once you register in Denmark and receive your CPR number (your personal ID number) as well as your yellow health insurance card, you are automatically granted access to public health services, hospital treatment, and medical help.
For some patients, however, public health insurance does not cover all they need. Therefore, you could consider taking out private health insurance in addition to your public insurance coverage. Although, for many expats and Danes, public insurance is more than enough.
You need to bring your yellow insurance card whenever you see your general practitioner or a dentist, and whenever you go to the hospital or an emergency ward. Your municipality automatically sends you the card, and it carries your name, address, and CPR number, as well as the contact information of your general practitioner.
When you register in Denmark, you can freely choose your general practitioner. For instance, you can indicate if you want a male or female doctor, or one your friends, colleagues, or fellow expats have recommended.
As mentioned, the name and address of your general practitioner will appear on your yellow insurance card as well. He or she is then the first person you should approach if you have any medical problems you would like their opinion on. They will then either treat it right away or refer you to a specialist or a hospital for further treatment. You can visit the Danish National e-Health Portal, Sundhed, to search for a general practitioner, a specialist, or a hospital (website in Danish only).
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 you need. Consult your doctor for more information on hospital care.
Of course, medical emergencies can occur anytime and anywhere. In such cases, 112 is the number to call to reach an emergency call center. You will first hear the message, “De har kaldt alarmcentralen 112. Brandvæsen, politi og ambulance. Vent roligt her.” (“You have called the emergency call center 112. Fire service, police, and ambulance. Please wait.”) Shortly after, you will be redirected to an employee who will give you further directions or send an ambulance to your location. All emergency call center employees speak English.
If you simply need to see a doctor outside regular opening hours or on the weekend, you need to call the emergency doctor service. The number to call is different for each of the Denmark’s five regions, and you can find yours on Vagtlaegen.dk (Danish only). You will be asked about your well-being and be given a recommendation on 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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