Guidance

Healthcare in Denmark

Healthcare information for UK nationals visiting, living in or moving to Denmark.

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This content was originally published on the NHS website.

Healthcare in Denmark after Brexit

You should be ready for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there is a no-deal Brexit and you are a UK national living in Denmark.

You should review your access to healthcare now. There may be a gap or permanent change in how you access healthcare if there is no deal and no agreements with Denmark in place.

For example, if you are a current S1 form holder, or a posted worker or student using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you will not be able to rely on these to access your healthcare as you do now.

If you’re living in Denmark

You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances and consider:

Make sure you have all the right documentation and it is up to date.

Arrangement with Denmark if there’s no deal

Denmark has put in place no-deal legislation which extends existing EU rights on residence for all British citizens and their family members legally residing in Denmark on exit day. You can get more information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

S1 certificate holders

Your S1 certificate may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Denmark and may mean you need to pay in full for treatment. It is important to have all the right documentation and that it is up to date.

Studying in Denmark after Brexit

Your EHIC may not be valid after exit day if there is a no-deal Brexit.

If you’re already studying in Denmark before the UK leaves the EU, the UK will cover your healthcare costs for the duration of your course.

Students starting courses after the UK leaves the EU should ensure they have comprehensive healthcare cover in place.

Get help paying for medical treatment after Brexit

During the first 6 months after Brexit, if you need medical treatment and you’re being asked to pay for it, the UK can help.

To organise a payment, you’ll need to give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 for more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Using NHS services when visiting the UK

You should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK if you are living in Denmark and are not currently eligible for a UK-issued S1 form or EHIC.

You should take out appropriate travel insurance when visiting the UK, as you would when visiting any other country.

If you’re living in Denmark before Brexit, you can use NHS services in England, Scotland and Wales without charge when visiting the UK after exit day if you:

Returning to the UK permanently

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test you will be able to access NHS care without charge.

European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC)

Your EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Denmark and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you’re planning to visit Denmark.

Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare cover to ensure you can get any treatment you might need.

If you have any pre-existing health conditions, talk to your insurer about how to get the right cover, and how this affects your travel.

You should prepare for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there is a no-deal Brexit and you are a UK national travelling to Denmark.

UK-issued EHICs will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU. Your EHIC can also be used to access UK-funded treatment if your visit or treatment started before exit day until you return to the UK.

To organise a payment, you’ll need to give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 if you need more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Further information can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Living in Denmark

This information is about healthcare in Denmark before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals living in Denmark after Brexit.

If you live in Denmark and are registered with the Civil Registration System and have a Danish healthcare insurance card, you’re entitled to full access to the Danish state healthcare system.

S1 certificate

This information is about healthcare in Denmark before Brexit. Find out about S1 certificates for UK nationals living in Denmark after Brexit.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Denmark and receive:

  • an exportable UK State Pension
  • a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance
  • another exportable benefit

You’ll need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants to access healthcare in Denmark.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:

  • receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension
  • are employed by a UK body or firm (you are a posted or frontier worker)
  • are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

If you receive a UK State Pension, you can apply for your certificate via the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (option 5).

It is possible to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU. It is important to have all the right documentation and that it is up to date.

For other exportable benefits, you may need to liaise with a different team depending on the exportable benefit. You can find more information under claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

Working in Denmark

This information is about healthcare in Denmark before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals living or working in Denmark after Brexit.

UK posted workers

You’re entitled to full access to the Danish state healthcare system if you’re a worker posted by a UK company to Denmark, registered with the Civil Registration System and in possession of a Danish healthcare insurance card.

You can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC):

Studying in Denmark

This information is about healthcare in Denmark before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals studying in Denmark after Brexit.

If you’re a UK resident studying in Denmark, you are recommended to apply for a residence permit as soon as possible. When you have received your registration certificate, you should register in the Civil Registration System (CPR) as soon as possible.

If you’re resident in Denmark, are registered with the Civil Registration System and in possession of the healthcare insurance card, you’re entitled to full access to the Danish state healthcare system.

The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive insurance when going overseas. Your EHIC is not an alternative to insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Read more about healthcare when studying abroad.

For more information about healthcare when living abroad, read the NHS guide on planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

Visiting Denmark

This information is about healthcare in Denmark before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals visiting Denmark after Brexit.

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you’re planning to visit Denmark. The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas. Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an EHIC.

Your EHIC enables you to access necessary state-provided healthcare in Denmark at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, if you’re staying there temporarily.

Make sure you’re treated by a healthcare provider in the state system as you will not be covered for private healthcare with an EHIC.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork.

Pre-existing health conditions

You should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Denmark if you have a pre-existing health condition. You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, so that you can get the cover you need.

The Money and Pensions Advice Service has information about buying travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel. Take any documents about your health condition or medicine with you.

If you are travelling to have planned medical treatment, read the NHS guide to seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Healthcare services in Denmark

Finding help in an emergency

If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency or you need an ambulance, call 112. This number is free of charge.

Dentists

You will be covered for consultations with a dentist if you have an EHIC. The dentist must be registered with the state health service.

If you have to pay any fees, these will be partially reimbursed.

Hospitals

Doctor’s referrals are required for non-emergency hospital treatment.

Emergency hospital treatment in a state hospital is free for people with an EHIC. Examinations from a doctor or midwife during pregnancy and childbirth are also free of charge.

Where possible, tell the hospital that you’ll need the service before your arrival.

Prescriptions

Prescription medicine is paid for by the patient. However, support is given for specific types of medicine (support-based medicine) by the public healthcare system depending on:

  • how much medicine is bought within a year
  • whether the patient is an adult or a child

Most pharmacies are open from 9.30am to 5pm on weekdays and 9.30am to 12pm on Saturdays. Some are open until 2pm on Saturdays.

There are also some 24-hour pharmacies (døgnåbne apoteker).

Bringing your own medicines to Denmark

Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK. This means that additional legal controls apply to these medicines.

You may need a personal licence to take controlled medicines abroad.

Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information that you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

See more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

Published 23 September 2019