If you get sick in Denmark

Last updated 2/9/2022
In an emergency – call 112. Otherwise you must contact the emergency medical service (“lægevagten”) before going to the hospital. There is no equivalent to the Swedish health centre (“vårdcentral”) – instead you must choose your own doctor (“egen læge”) who is the one you always contact in connection with less serious illness.

In emergencies – call 112

Call 112 in the event of urgent, serious illness, accidents or life-threatening situations.
When you call 112, you may be asked questions about:

  • who you are
  • what has happened and who is injured
  • where and when it happened, the exact address
  • where you are calling from (phone number)


The emergency medical service – when you need help outside your doctor’s opening hours

You must call the emergency medical service if you need to see a doctor outside your own doctor’s normal working hours, which normally means from 16.00 to 08.00 on weekdays, on weekends and public holidays.

When should you contact the emergency medical service?

  • if your symptoms came on abruptly
  • if treatment cannot wait until your own doctor's opens
  • sudden deterioration of an existing illness
  • minor injuries 

You must always talk to the emergency medical service before going to the nearest hospital.


The emergency medical service in the Capital Region of Denmark – call 1813

If you are in Copenhagen or the surrounding area, you should call the emergency medical service in the Capital Region of Denmark on the emergency number 1813. The telephone line is manned by doctors and nurses who will assist you in connection with an emergency when normal medical clinics are closed. 


Accident and emergency department – a casualty ward at a hospital

In the event of sudden injury or illness within the last 24 hours and if you cannot wait for the emergency service doctor or your own doctor, you can go to the nearest accident and emergency department at
a hospital – the casualty ward.


Read more about the Danish healthcare system on lifeindenmark.borger.dk


Choose your own doctor in Denmark or a health centre in Sweden

If you don't have a doctor, for example because you live in Sweden and work in Denmark, you can contact any general medical practitioner. The Danish municipality in which you work can give you a list of the doctors you can contact. The consultation is free of charge.

If you are visiting Denmark, you are always entitled to emergency healthcare, even if you neither live nor work in the country. If you live in Sweden, the ongoing treatment can take place as usual at your Swedish health centre. 


How the Danish healthcare system works

The Danish healthcare system consists of several public institutions and functions and is primarily organised by the five Danish regions. Below we give you a brief introduction to the structure of the Danish healthcare system: the Danish Health Authority, the regions and the municipalities.


The Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is the national healthcare authority in Denmark. The Ministry organises and coordinates hospitals, public health insurance, medicine and pharmacies. They also propose new laws in the area.


Read more on the website of the Ministry of Health (in Danish)


The Danish Health Authority

The Danish Health Authority is the ministerial department in charge of healthcare. The Danish Health Authority helps both private and public companies interpret healthcare regulations and laws. 


The regions

The five Danish regions are responsible for hospitals and mental healthcare in their respective areas. The regions are responsible for hospital staff, general medical practitioners, specialists, dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists, etc. 


The municipalities

The municipalities are responsible for preventive health initiatives for children and young people, home care, as well as health and dental care for school children. Municipalities also issue the yellow health insurance card and are responsible for the right of citizens to choose their own doctor. Danish citizens are associated with a doctor at a specific clinic, which can be compared to the choice of a health centre in Sweden.

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We can help you

You are always welcome to visit our Information Center in Malmö to get help with your questions regarding working, moving or studying in Denmark.


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