Your Right to good care and treatment in Finland


Healthcare professionals must respect your beliefs, privacy and dignity while providing treatment. Whenever possible, your mother tongue, culture and individual needs must be taken into account during your treatment.

Healthcare services must not discriminate patients based on their age, state of health or handicaps, for example. Only medical reasons may affect treatment decisions.

Your opinion must be considered during treatment Healthcare professionals must provide treatment in cooperation with you.

You can refuse treatment or procedure if you want. If you refuse treatment, care must be provided in another medically acceptable manner.

You are not entitled to receive any care that you may desire. The final decision on the treatment is always made by a doctor on medical grounds.

A patient can refuse treatment or procedure even if their state of health requires it. The doctor must explain to the patient in an understandable manner what the refusal means. If the patient continues to refuse the examination or treatment, the refusal is recorded in the patient documents. Patient rights and consent in the Kanta services. Healthcare professionals must provide you with information concerning your state of health and treatment.

Healthcare professionals must be proactive in providing you with information concerning your state of health. You have the right to receive information on different treatment alternatives and their effects and possible detriments. You have the right to know all factors that may be significant when the decision concerning your treatment is made.

A patient must not be provided with information if the patient does not want to receive it. Information must not be provided if the provision of the information would severely endanger the patient’s life or health. The suspicion that the information might be harmful to the patient is not a sufficient reason to withhold the information if the patient requests it. The information concerning your state of health and treatment must be provided in a manner that allows you to understand its content to a sufficient degree. If you and the treatment personnel do not have a common language, healthcare professionals must arrange for interpretation when necessary.

You have the right to check the information in your patient documents. You can request corrections if the information is incorrect. The request is made to the healthcare unit that recorded the information. You can view your patient data in the My Kanta service. You can also record advance health care directives and register as an organ donor in the My Kanta service.

Language rights

Healthcare professionals are obliged to inform the customer concerning their state of health, the significance of the treatment, the different treatment options and other factors related to the treatment. If the customer and the treatment personnel do not have a common language, interpretation will be arranged if necessary.

In Finland, the customer always has the right to receive information concerning their own treatment for free.

In Finland, healthcare services are provided in either Finnish or Swedish

In Finnish public healthcare, services are provided in the official languages: in Finnish or Swedish. The law does not oblige the treatment provider to offers services in other languages.

A monolingual municipality or joint municipal authority for a hospital district must arrange healthcare services in the language of the municipality or joint municipal authority.

A bilingual municipality and joint municipal authority must provide services in the customer’s chosen language, either in Finnish or Swedish.

Moreover, the Sami people have the right to use the Sami language in the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari, Sodankylä and Utsjoki and within the areas of joint municipal authorities where one of these municipalities is a member.

Residents of the Nordic countries have the right to receive healthcare services in their own language

Based on the Nordic Convention on social security, residents of the Nordic countries are entitled to use their own language (Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandic) within Finnish public healthcare. If necessary, public health care must arrange for the interpretation and translation needed when a patient arrives from another Nordic country.

Interpretation costs are a part of the costs of treatment If you are receiving treatment within Finland’s public healthcare system and your medical costs are covered by another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, the interpretation costs will be invoiced as part of your treatment costs.

If you come to Finland with the intent to use healthcare services, you are responsible for arranging the necessary interpretation for your treatment. If you cannot understand the information concerning your treatment, healthcare professionals can organize translators for your treatment.

If you are responsible for your costs of treatment, you will also need to pay the fees of interpretation related to your treatment.