5 Health Tips to know before moving to Sweden
1. Do your dental checks before moving because dental care is expensive in Sweden
2. Check your medication/supplement needs and availability
Some medications or certain supplement brands may not be available in Sweden. Certain non-prescription medication in one country may require doctor’s prescription in another country.
I’m using a certain type of prescribed gastric pills which is not available in Sweden and I always ensure I have extras with me when I’m away. If you’re reliant to a certain brand of the medication/supplement, be sure to check if its available in Sweden.
3. Stock up your medical/health supplies to save some bucks
I like to bring over some basic medical supplies like painkillers, flu meds and lozenges because it is cheaper to get it back home.
Don’t worry if you forget your meds. For minor fever or cold, just visit the pharmacies or supermarkets to get non-prescription medications like the painkillers. In Sweden, you may need to produce ID when you buy basic painkillers such as ALVEDON in the supermarket.
4. Health insurance should be arranged before moving to Sweden
Students studying for more than a year can apply for a Swedish personal number which entitles the students to the same health benefits as Swedes with the personal identity number. Apply for the personal ID through the Swedish Tax Agency local tax office (Skatteverket).
If you are from a non-EU/EAA country and are planning to stay in Sweden for less than a year, you will not be entitled to the local healthcare benefits but there are other options: your school may offer you a health insurance plan or you may have to purchase your own private health insurance. Check out StudyInSweden for more information on health insurance and medical care.
5. Know the emergency number and how Swedish healthcare works.
In case of emergency, always call 112. For non-emergency health concerns, consult the school nurse/healthcare center in the university or ring 1177 for advice. 1177.se also offers extensive advice on healthcare topics in Sweden such as clinic locations and patient rights etc.
Patient fees vary but are usually about SEK 150-200 for a consultation. I had chicken pox last spring (I know, at this age!) and my visit to the doctor in the hospital with 2 weeks medical leave was entirely free. Even though I live in a small town, I have easy access to several pharmacies and clinics. So far, I have had good experiences with the local healthcare and language is not a problem as everyone speaks English. If its non-urgent, I find it easier to consult the school nurse/health advisor in the university first as the health advisor is able to recommend some non-prescribed medication or further refer the student to the relevant doctor/specialist if required.