Written by Malena Rasetto
Hej! I’m back, after my article about Sweden through an Argentinian’s eyes, I’m here to share my experience visiting a doctor in Sweden as a tourist. Unfortunately, I visited him twice!
I had the pleasure to learn how to ski in the Sälen mountains. I stayed there for a week, so after a few days of learning the technique, I was confident enough to try an intermediate ski track when I fell and injured my knee.
It happened in Sälen, in a well-known ski resort. Given my knee wasn’t that bad, I didn’t go to the doctor there. However, after coming back to Östersund, I decided to make an appointment and get checked.
As a tourist and not as a resident, the first thing you need when travelling is travel insurance, it will help you a lot. However, you need to take a few things into consideration:
- Talk with your insurance company before booking an appointment, make sure they cover the appointment.
- Make sure of your insurance plan. In my case, I needed to be covered for recreational activity.
- Be patient on the phone. YES! Every doctor’s appointment is by phone, and you may wait hours until someone answers.
- Receptionists may not know how much it’s the appointment if you are not a resident, given it changes if you are from the EU or not.
- Ask for every single ticket, and prescription in order to show it to the insurance.
Having said that…
Visiting a doctor in Sweden
I was lucky my host booked the appointment for me in a public health centre, so the communication and the information were clear. Doctors have good English, but some receptionists might have some struggles communicating. Please, don’t misunderstand me, I have very good face-to-face communication, the receptionist was lovely.
The doctor was very kind too. I wanted to go straight away to a physiotherapist but my insurance didn’t cover it without being sent by a doctor. So I asked the doctor if he could write me a prescription saying I needed physiotherapist sessions, and he did it. In the end, I went to the physiotherapist twice.
The doctor’s appointment is very expensive if you are not a Swedish resident or have a resident number. In my case, it was around 2100 SEK (206 EUR) because I have an Italian passport.
Visiting a physiotherapist
I have to say that it was quite difficult to find one because of its fee. I tried to ask for a private physiotherapist thinking it would be cheaper but given I didn’t have a resident number, it was not possible for them to check on me. So I ended up going to a public one.
Trying to book an appointment was a headache given you should call a number, leave a voice message and wait till they call you back. The time to call is from 8 to 9 am. So, wake up early and call as soon as you can. Luckily, the receptionist called me back the same day I called.
As the receptionist didn’t know how much it would cost me or if it would be possible I was seen by a physiotherapist, she gave my phone number to the physiotherapist, and he called me the next day and gave me an appointment.
After all the goings and back to have an appointment, I finally visited one and the experience was very good indeed. Everyone treated me kindly and respectfully. The visit cost me less than the doctor’s, it was around 1500 SEK (148 EUR).
As a foreigner, they asked me for my passport, home address, Swedish address (hotel AirBnb, Workaway, etc.), and telephone number. My piece of advice for everyone is to be patient, Swedish people, as I described in my first article, are very kind and warm, and when it comes to work, they are very professional.
Hope this article was informative and helpful. See you in the next article.
About the Author
Hej! I’m Malena. I’m an Argentinian travelling Sweden. After living in Ireland for 2 years and a half I decided to start backpacking Europe. I’ve been living with different families since then. I love to be around different cultures, I love outdoor activities like hiking and swimming. I love blogging, reading and writing. You can find me on Instagram as @malenarasetto. I really hope you enjoy my articles! Vi ses!