Health care in Denmark


Wondering about health care services available in Denmark? Find an overview of the Danish health care system in this article.

When moving to Denmark, health care will probably be one of your major concerns. Like most European countries, Denmark provides quality health care services to its inhabitants, including expatriates, thanks to its developed and modern health care system. Make sure, however, to inquire on all relating conditions and formalities beforehand.

Health care system

The Danish health care system is divided into two sectors : first aid and hospitals. First aid is easily accessible to everyone and includes treatments provided by general practitioners, dentists and other therapists. Hospitals, for their part, provide particular medical treatments.

In general, general practitioners are able to determine whether their patients should be referred to hospitals specialists. In fact, visits to the general practitioner are compulsory before benefiting from any particular hospital treatment.

Choosing your doctor

On moving to Denmark, you are required to register at the nearest Citizen's Service (Borgerservice) to your place of residence. You will also have to name two doctors operating within 15 km from your place of residence. Moreover, these doctors have to justify their ability to take care of new patients. In general, parents can include their children in this process.

In case you wish to switch to another doctor, you will have to notify the Borgerservice. Fees of DKK 180 apply.

Medical consultation

In most cases, you are required to seek an appointment with the doctor. In case of emergency, the latter can still make arrangements to receive you on the same day. Medical cabinets are generally open from 8 am to 4 pm on week days.

Visits to the doctor are free of charge provided you have a yellow card (find more information below). However, fees apply if you have to request for a medical certificate when applying for your driver's license, for example. Visits to specialists are also free of charge if you have been referred by your doctor.


In case your doctor is not available (weekend, public holiday, evening or night), you will have to contact your area's emergency service. This is a compulsory step before going to the hospital. Note that you will have to give your CPR number (find more information in the article Phones and Internet in Denmark), as well as some information relating to your current treatments.

Yellow card and formalities

Health services provided by the public health care system are free of charge for all permanent residents in Denmark. European and North European nationals making a more than six months stay and non-European nationals making a more than three months stay in the country have to register at the nearest Borgerservice to their place of residence. They can also apply for their CPR and yellow card. The yellow card is a proof of insurance making your eligible for public health services.

To apply for the yellow card, you will have to produce the following documents:

  • your work and resident permit
  • your passport or identity card
  • proof of address in Denmark.

The yellow card should then be issued within 15 days following application and will be sent to you by post.

Pharmacies and medication

Most pharmacies are open from Monday to Saturday between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm (2 pm on Saturday). Some pharmacies also remain on call at night.

To buy medication, you must produce a prescription. As regards general medical, these are usually available freely in pharmacies and in supermarkets, grocery stores and gas stations as well.

 Useful links:

Patienterstatningen – The Patient Compensation Association
Ministry of Health
Danish Medicines Agency
Sundhed – Danish Public Health Portal

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