Feeling sick? Have the flu or do you need specialist care? Then you should visit your local health centre – vårdcentral. These centres provide a starting point for most medical treatments in Sweden.
The staff can help you with health related matters and write referrals – remisser, which you need in order to see a specialist.
You choose which health centre you want to belong to
The medical centres are open to everyone – children, teenagers and adults. It is up to you to choose which health centre – vårdcentral you want to belong to.
The only restriction is that the health centre must be located in your own county (where you are registered – folkbokförd. If you are not happy with the service at your vårdcentral, you are free to switch to another.
Costs and Fees
The costs and fees for visiting a vårdcentral vary from county to county. But the costs of a visit is usually between 100 – 300 SEK and normally free for everyone under 20. Don’t forget to cancel an appointment if you don’t need it, as you will otherwise have to pay the full costs of the defaulted visit.
Duty of confidentiality
Everyone who works at a health centre (doctors, nurses, dietician, psychologists etc.) have a duty of confidentiality. So what you say or do there stays there. Parents, partners and other relatives have no right to know what you did there.
Opening hours and appointments
A health centre is usually open on weekdays between eight and five. Yet it has become increasingly common that health centres have extended their opening hours to evenings and weekends as well.
You can either visit your health centre during the “drop-in” hours or schedule an appointment by phone or online. Some health centres also offer “urgent appointment times” in case of emergencies.
Health centre vs. ER?
If your health matter is urgent but not life threatening it can be better to visit a health centre rather than the ER as waiting times at the ER can be very long. Some health centres are open during the weekends and provide similar medical check-ups as the ER.
Call 1177 – sjukvårdsupplysningen, if you’re unsure on where to go as they give you professional health counseling. However, never hesitate to call SOS Larm 112 in case of emergency.
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