Faroese health policy aims to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their personal finances, has access to good health care services of equal standard.
Health care services are financed by the government and by contributions from all residents, through the National Health Insurance.
Except from the contribution to the National Health Insurance, health care is generally free in Faroe Islands. However, exceptions apply to medicines, dental treatment and some other specialized treatments.
Citizens of the Nordic countries and Great Britain have the right to health care on the same terms as Faroese citizens if they become suddenly ill or injured while staying temporarily in the Faroe Islands.
Residents of other countries will need to acquire their own traveler's health insurance while staying on a short-term basis in the Faroe Islands.
Pregnant women have the right to free childbirth assistance at Faroese hospitals irrespective of their nationality.
The health insurance regulation for EU countries does not apply to the Faroe Islands.
All individuals residing in the Faroe Islands who have a Faroese ID-number are members of the National Health Insurance.
The National Health Insurance covers general and specialized medical treatment and gives supplement for medicine, dental treatment and other specialized treatment, e.g. physiotherapy, psychotherapy and foot care.
All residents from the age of 18 pay a monthly fee to the National Health Service. The fee is DKK 160 + 0.55 percent of the tax due income. The fee is deducted automatically from the income by the Tax Authority.
Further information: National Health Insurance (in Faroese)
If you have a Faroese ID-number you have free access to services from the Faroese health care system.
General medical treatment is provided by doctors in private practice who are referred to as local medical officers. In addition to general medical treatment the local medical officers provide statutory duties such as vaccinations and medical examinations of children and pregnant women.
Every new residence is assigned a local medical officer by the National Health Insurance when receiving his or her Faroese ID-number.
Specialist health care services are available in hospitals or from practicing specialists. You need a reference from a local medical officer for specialist health services.
For some specialist services you will have to pay a patient`s charge. The patient’s charge is paid directly to the specialist.
Dental care for adults is carried out by dentists in private practice. The National Health Insurance covers part of the cost for dental assistance.
Children up to the age of 16 are entitled to free public dental treatment. Children´s dental services are administrated by the municipalities.
List of dentists working under the National Health Insurance: Dentists
Mental health service is available from psychologists in private practice.
If you are referred to a psychologist by your local medical officer, the National Health Insurance will cover 40 percent of the cost. If you consult a psychologist without referral from your medical officer, you will have to pay the full price.
List of psychologists practicing in the Faroe Islands: The Faroese Psychological Association (in Faroese)
Medicines are bought in pharmacies. Most medicines need to be prescibed from a local medical officer or a hospital but some are freely available.
Pharmacies are located in Tórshavn, Klaksvík, Tvøroyri and Runavík. Furthermore, there are approximately 30 pharmacy outlets throughout the islands.
Further information: National Pharmacy Service
You can get referred to a hospital by your local medical officer.
There are three hospitals in the Faroe Islands – in Tórshavn, Klaksvík and Suðuroy.
The National Hospital (Landssjúkrahúsið) in Tórshavn is the main hospital. Most illnesses and injuries can be managed at the National Hospital but in some cases it may be necessary to receive treatment abroad or at the local hospitals in Klaksvík or Suðuroy.
Further information on the Faroese hospitals:
Health services during pregnancy and childbirth and health services for children up to the end of school age (16-17 years) are free of charge.
Pregnancy check-ups are carried out by the local medical officers and by midwives. Ultrasound scans are available for free in the 18th week of pregnancy.
Child birth takes place at the National Hospital in Tórshavn and at Suðuroy Hospital. Mother and child normally stay between 2 and 5 days in hospital after childbirth.
Children’s nurses examine the children in their home regularly up to the age of 18 months.
Local medical officers provide medical check-ups up to the age of 5 and vaccinations according to a vaccination programme.
School nurses provide regular medical check-ups and personal interviews as well as parental guidance and information.
If you need immediate medical assistance, dial 112.
The emergency ward at the National Hospital is open 24 hours a day. During working hours you need to contact your local medical officer or the information desk at the National Hospital before arriving at the emergency ward.
If you need urgent medical treatment after working hours you can contact the Medical Call Service at the National Hospital by dialing 1870.
If you are in urgent need of dental service after working hours you can call +298 314544 on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 10 am to 11 am.
Source: euraxess.fo, sept. 2015.