Health care in Iceland

Hello everyone,

One among the various issue that many expatriates usually raise is Health Care. So, I think it would be very interesting and helpful to start a topic about Health.

   > So, can you please list some of the private clinics & public hospitals in Iceland?

   > What about dental care? May be some tips about the costs?

   > Some addresses of Eye care clinic, opticians will also be welcomed!

   > Some addresses of pharmacies around Iceland will also be useful.

Do not hesitate, to add more related items to the list.

Thanks in advance for your participation!
______________________________________________ Team

Moving to Iceland in July, my husband and I will need to get private health insurance for 6 months.  Anyone want to share in their opinion, which Iceland health insurance provider they think is best?

I'm not sure there are choices other than paying through Tryggingamiðstöðin ("the insurance office"). It's at least where my employer insured me the first six months. The market for private insurance is certainly very small since only non-EEA people have to pay for it and only then for six months. In a country of 300 thousand people, that tallies up to very few who need special coverage.

info here (although only minimally in English):

Ok, that will make it easy to narrow down then.  Thank you!

some health care info:

when you first arrive in Iceland, you have to get coverage for the first six months, and as far as I know the only place to get this is at Tryggingamiðstöðin, as mentioned above. After that, you're covered by the national healthcare.

The system is arranged by neighborhood, so you go to the website and pick where you live. From there you get the information about your local clinic.

If you need to see a doctor, you call them and ask for an appointment. I've usually gotten one within a week. The payment is 1000isk for a visit, with extra if you need tests done.

If you need to see a specialist, the cost is 4000isk for a visit.

Women can get regularly scheduled PAP screenings (3500isk every 2 years) at a special office. They send you a card to remind you to book it when your time comes.

The one time I've been with someone who went to the emergency room, he had to pay around 4-5000isk for the trip. That's including ambulance pickup, time in the ER, and doctor visit (thankfully nothing serious was wrong).

There's no requirement to get referrals to see a specialist- just call the type of doctor you need to see and get an appointment. If you can't speak Icelandic well enough, everyone I've encountered is well able to speak English. Most doctors have trained outside the country since there's simply not enough resources here.

I've only been to the dentist once, and it was expensive because it's not covered by insurance like everything else. It cost me 10000isk for a visit (with no cavities or anything).

pharmacies: is everywhere is in a few places in Reykjavík

then there are tons of small one-off pharmacies all over town. It's not hard to find a pharmacy. If you search for "apotek" in the online phonebook at  you can find many more.

I have been going to an american eye doctor who works at Augnlæknar Reykjavíkur and I'm happy with the service.

My general experience here has been good so far. People are pretty friendly and efficient and it's not hard to figure out the system (after living in America this is really nice). I also feel like the "bedside  manner" is pretty good here. It's clear when going for tests that they're making extra sure that the results will be matched to the correct person, the doctors really seem to be listening to you, and when something odd is going on, they check thoroughly before dismissing. Of course, I've never had anything particularly serious happening, so the healthcare might not be so good for that. It's a small island with a small population, so they have to fly people elsewhere if there's really serious problems. I'm not sure if an immigrant on a temporary visa would have access to that level of care though.

There is some talk about the doctors in Akureyri being under strain, although stories I've heard from a German doctor working here is that it's still a much better life for them than in Germany. I also imagine that if you're living in a very small town with a very small clinic it would be frustrating. I've heard stories of pregnant woman living in rural areas having to find a relative or friend to live with in Reykjavík during their last weeks of pregnancy, just to be close to the hospital. There is simply not the capacity to treat complicated things in these tiny villages.

It's also sometimes odd when the doctor you're seeing is someone you know in another capacity. It's such a small community that it's likely that you have seen the doctor at the swimming pool, or from some other activity.

in conclusion, my experience here is that it's an accessible and simple system that has worked fine for my minimal healthcare needs.


Thank you ECS ;)

Wow very well elaborated :thanks:

So my son is moving to Iceland with his Icelandic wife. Currently living is the US.  Does the paid Icelandic insurance that you have to purchase when you register kick in right away?  Or does he have to purchase expat insurance for the time until the paid Icelandic insurance starts, and of course later, the free insurance.