If you need medical care
Last updated: 22 3 2019
This page has information about what medical care you are entitled to as an asylum seeker in Sweden. It also has information about costs, rules and how you get medical care in Sweden.
If you are under 18 years of age and seeking asylum in Sweden you are entitled to the same medical and dental care as other children and young people in Sweden. Medical care is usually free if you are under 18.
If you are older than 18 and seeking asylum in Sweden you are entitled to emergency medical and dental care. You are also entitled to medical treatment if you have a condition that may become an emergency if it is not treated. The doctor determines whether your condition may become an emergency.
As an asylum seeker you are also entitled to:
- natal care
- care in connection with an abortion
- advice on contraceptives
- maternal care
- care under the Communicable Diseases Act
Important points if you need to seek medical care
Take your LMA (asylum seeker) card
You have to take your LMA card with you when you seek medical care. You also have to show your LMA card when to get any medication you have been prescribed from a pharmacy. If you have not received your LMA card yet, you have to show the receipt you were given when you sought asylum.
How much you have to pay
You can check on the Migration Agency's website how much different types of medical care appointments and medicines cost. It also has information about allowances you can apply for to be reimbursed for medical care fees that you have paid.
Confidentiality obligation for medical care staff
All medical care staff in Sweden are bound by a confidentiality obligation. This means that they are not allowed to tell anyone else anything about you unless you have given them permission to do so. What you tell the medical care staff will not affect your chances of getting a residence permit in Sweden. Interpreters working for the health and medical care services also have a confidentiality obligation, and staff in pharmacies are also bound by it.
Interpretation into other languages
If you don't speak Swedish that well, you are entitled to be helped by an interpreter when you are in contact with authorities and medical care staff. For example, you are entitled to take an interpreter along when you are seeing a doctor or someone else in medical or dental care services.
Using pictures when talking to medical care staff
It is important that you understand what medical care staff are saying, and that they understand what you are saying. There are pictures you can use when meeting with medical care staff.
Finding the right medical care
If you are uncertain about whether to seek medical care, you can call 1177 Vårdguiden. The phone number is 1177. You will be connected to a nurse who can give you advice. The nurse can also give you information about where you should go for the right type of medical care. You can call 1177 at any time of the day or night. Some county councils can give you advice in other languages than Swedish.
Medical care centres
Usually you should contact a medical care centre first if you become ill or have some physical complaint. At the medical care centre they will be able to help you with most things. You can also contact a medical care centre if you feel mentally unwell. The medical care centre can help you get in touch with mental health clinics.
Emergency medical care
If you or someone else is very seriously ill or injured, you must seek help at an Akutmottagning, or Akuten for short. Hospitals have Akutmottagningar and these are open around the clock, every day of the year.
If you or someone else is feeling very mentally unwell and needs help quickly, you should go to an Akutmottagning for mental illness (psykiatrisk akutmottagning). You can call 1177 to find out where the nearest one is.
The 112 emergency number
In an emergency situation where someone's life is in danger, call 112. You will quickly be given help. If necessary an ambulance will be sent to take you to Akutmottagningen. The 112 emergency number operators will put you in contact with the ambulance service, the police and the fire service.
You can buy non-prescription medicines in a pharmacy, where you also to get medicines prescribed to you by a doctor. The staff in pharmacies know a lot about different illnesses and can give you advice about medicines. Pharmacy staff have a confidentiality obligation.