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Healthcare in Denmark

Nobody wants to think about being ill when on holiday or travelling for business, but it happens to thousands of UK citizens every year. As one of our closer European neighbours with lots of trade and tourism links to the UK, Denmark is an increasingly important destination for UK visitors. If you should happen to fall ill while in Denmark, it is important to understand the differences between their health service and the UK NHS.

Using EHIC cover in Denmark

EHIC is an agreement between EU countries which allows UK citizens to use the Danish state healthcare system as a Danish person would. State healthcare is run by the regional governments, and is very high quality. There are very few private hospitals and doctors in Denmark, and these account for less than 1% of total provision. When you are admitted to hospital as an emergency, or need to make an appointment to see a doctor, you will not be charged for this with EHIC cover, but you will need to show your EHIC card and your passport – it is often a good idea to have photocopies of these to use in emergencies. Many healthcare professionals in Denmark speak excellent English, but a translator can be arranged for you if the admission is not an emergency. Dental treatment in Denmark is not free of charge however; only children under the age of 18 will receive free emergency dental care. The cost of adult dental treatment is state-subsidised but you will be expected to contribute, so always ask for detailed bills and invoices before agreeing to any treatment. You will also have to pay for any medicines prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacy.

Is travel insurance worth it for Denmark?

Given that the Danish state health system is modern and efficient, and offers an excellent standard of care, you could be forgiven for thinking that taking out additional travel insurance just isn’t worth it, especially as the private healthcare sector in Denmark is so small. Remember though that getting travel insurance gives you additional benefits and cover which EHIC does not offer. If you are admitted to hospital in Denmark, additional travel insurance may cover the cost of rearranging your flights home for a later date, or extra hotel accommodation for a loved one to stay with you.

Depending on your policy, you might also be able to claim back additional expenses such as prescription medicine charges or dental costs. Always keep receipts and invoices, and speak to your insurer before embarking on a course of treatment if you are unsure whether you are covered. In addition, private travel insurance will cover you for a range of other eventualities. Always tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions for anyone covered under the policy, and take out additional cover if you are planning on doing any extreme sports on your trip to Denmark. People with complex health issues, or who are over 70, may find the best insurance for them by going through a specialist broker.