Primary healthcare and specialised medical care

The primary contact of a person with health concerns in the healthcare system is through his or her family physician and family nurse. The family physician together with his or her team provides an initial assessment of the state of health, performs the necessary analyses and diagnostics, if needed, gives advice on health behaviour, and prescribes treatment and medicinal products. If the family physician deems it necessary, he or she will consult a medical specialist, for example, by using the e-consultation option or refers the patient to a medical specialist by submitting a digital referral to the health information system.

As a rule, every person is assigned a family doctor according to their place of residence indicated in the population register. A newborn is automatically registered to the practice list of his or her mother’s family physician. If you wish, you can change your family physician. To do this, you have to find a suitable family physician and find out if they have vacancies in the practice list. If there are vacancies, an application for registering in the practice list must be sent to the family physician.

Primary healthcare is generally free of charge. A family physician may ask a fee for a recurring appointment; the family physician also has a right to establish his or her own price list for different health services that are provided on the person’s request but that do not fall under the category of necessary healthcare. For example, these services may include the issue of different certificates (medical certificate for applying for a driving licence), vaccinations not in the national vaccination schedule, etc.

You can find more information about the work of a family physician in the following places: