I think there’s a very limited number of people who actually likes to go to the doctor, and I’m definitely not one of them. There’s something about going to the doctor in a different country, that makes me feel helpless. Like if anything could happen and you’ll be alone in a cold room (in my imagination it’s always cold).
That’s why it took me two entire weeks of feeling terribly ill, to make up my mind and decided to take a look to the Finnish healthcare. In theory, international students have it very easy: all we need to do is to make a call and go to the student clinic, however, this will only work 11 out of the 12 months in a year.
I found out the hard way: during the month of July, the health centre -in Turku- operated by the Finnish Student Health Service, is closed. So if you’re an international student, the best advice I can give you is that either you don’t get sick at all on July, or you get really sick, so you can go directly to the emergency room. But if you -like me- fall somewhere in the middle, then you’ll have to find your local health station…
In order to save you hours of research, my dear international student, here’s a very short “to do” list in case you get sick:
1. Finnish Student Health Service.
Without any doubt, I can say this service is one of the best things about studying in Finland. If the service you need is not entirely free, then you might have to pay a small fee, which will be probably covered by your private health insurance. You can find more information about the health service in Turku in the following webpage: https://www.yths.fi/en/contact_details/units/turku. As I said, this service is not available during the month of July and on certain holidays.
2. Local health Stations.
In case the Student Service is not available and your problem is not an emergency, then you’ll need to go to your local health station and hope to get an appointment any time soon. The downside of this is that no one really knows how it works for students. In my experience, I went to two different locations and spoke on the phone with an absurd number of people, and none of them were able to tell me the approximate cost of the service. You can find more information about it on the webpage: https://www.turku.fi/en/health-and-social-services/health-services/services-health-centres
3. Emergency Services.
Outside the Student Health Service operation hours, if you find yourself in a situation you’d consider an emergency, then you might not want to wait longer and the best will be to go to use the Emergency Services.
The Turku University Hospital is pretty close to the student village and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (in case of emergency). There’s more information about it in their webpage: http://www.vsshp.fi/en/paivystys/Pages/default.aspx’