Health care, banks, taxes and civil registration
On this page, you can get short information about health care, banks, taxes and civil registration in Sweden. You will also find links for more information.
Emergency phone number 112
In case of an ongoing crime or other emergency, please call 112. This is the emergency number for ambulance, police, rescue and the fire brigade.
Health care system in Sweden
The healthcare system in Sweden is tax-funded. The system is designed to ensure equal access to healthcare services. This means, for example, that you as a patient pay a nominal fee, that there is a high-cost ceiling for medical consultations and that healthcare for children is free.
Learn more about the Swedish healthcare system at sweden.se
University health services for students and staff
Feelgood is the University’s provider of student health services. Avonova is the University’s provider of occupational health service. You can book an appointment if you are experiencing health related issues caused or aggravated by your study/work situation. They also offer psychological services and arrange talks and workshops on health related matters.
If you are an international student from outside the EU/EES, Feelgood will also act as your healthcare centre until you get access to the Swedish national healthcare system.
Information and medical advice
The first port of call of the Swedish healthcare system is often making a telephone call free of charge to the national medical advice line 1177 Vårdguiden. Here you receive healthcare information and consultations by trained nurses 24/7, all year round. They will tell you if you need to visit your local healthcare centre to see a doctor or nurse. In that case, they can also help to find your nearest healthcare centre.
The medical advice line is reached by dialling 1177 in Sweden or +46 771 11 77 00 from outside of Sweden. Please visit their website 1177.se for more information.
Visiting a healthcare centre or a hospital
Make sure you are covered by a health insurance for the duration of your stay in Sweden, either via an insurance company in your home country, and/or through the University by means of the Insurance for Foreign Visitors for guest teachers and guest researchers, or the FAS+/FAS Plus or StudentIN insurances for students. These insurances are provided by Kammarkollegiet and cover emergency care only. Please note that you will initially need to pay all healthcare expenses and then send in a claim form to Kammarkollegiet to get reimbursed.
As an EU citizen you will need to request an EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) from your home country before moving to Sweden. With this card you are able to pay the standard Swedish patient fee to receive necessary care. Please note, however, that the EHIC card only covers emergency care and chronic illness. If you come from another Nordic country, you only need to show an ID card and provide your home address.
If you are staying longer than a year, you will need to register in the Swedish population register and get a Swedish personal identity number. This will entitle you to receive healthcare under the same conditions as other residents in Sweden, which means that you will be paying the regular Swedish patient fees for medical care in the public healthcare system.
Hospital = Sjukhus
Health care centre = Vårdcentral
Out-of-hours clinic = Jourcentral
Emergency ward = Akutmottagning
Children’s clinic = Barnavårdscentral
Dentist = Tandläkare
In Sweden you have a choice between public dental care (Folktandvården) as well as private clinics. Prices differ between clinics so you may want to look at a few different options before deciding on a specific clinic. The costs are partially subsidised if you are registered in the Swedish social insurance system, but dental care can be quite expensive compared with some other countries.
You can pick up non-prescription medicines, such as aspirin and cough syrup at pharmacies and at some supermarkets, grocery stores and petrol stations. Prescribed medicines can only be obtained from a pharmacy (Apotek).
There are many banks operating in Gothenburg. The main ones are Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank. The bank branches are generally open Monday–Friday, 10am-3pm.
How to open a bank account
If you are planning to reside in Sweden only for a short time, it is generally easier to use your bank account and bank card from your home country, even if this means that your transactions will result in currency exchanges and withdrawal fees. We strongly recommend that you bring a Visa or MasterCard to Sweden, as cards are widely used all over the country. You can continue to use your internet bank, which you are familiar with and allows you to communicate in your native language.
You can apply for an account with your Swedish coordination number. If you do so, the account that you can open will not have access to internet banking or to an electronic Bank ID and you will not be able to take out a loan or mortgage with the bank. We recommend that you contact your bank of choice to find out what exact documentation they will require.
We recommend you to have a plan for the economic situation for the first weeks in Sweden due to the time it can take to arrange an id number and a bank account.
When you have received your Swedish personal identity number (personnummer) or co-ordination number (samordningsnummer) you can apply for a bank account. Please read the following documents first before contacting the bank.
Because most people pay their bills by online banking, paying bills with a credit card or money transfer in a bank branch can sometimes be a bit difficult and expensive (fee: 125-150 SEK).
If you don’t have access to online banking and payment services, the only way to pay bills via card or cash is at Change Group in Alingsås or Trollhättan.
In Sweden, taxes are usually withheld at the time of payment. Your employer is obliged to deduct tax from your salary before you are paid. There are some exceptions to the regular tax system, e.g. tax relief for foreign key personnel and a special income tax for non-residents (SINK) if you stay for less than six months. Please contact your host department to find out what tax code applies to you.
Please note, if you come to Sweden on a scholarship which is tax free, you will not be entitled to the same benefits from the Swedish Social Insurance Office that taxpayers are. This means that you need to ensure you have a separate cover. Please check this with your host department.
If you are moving to Sweden and selling a house or another property, we advise that you contact a tax consultant before moving. The tax withdrawal rates differs from county to country.
Every year an income tax notice will be sent to you specifying your earned taxable income. This information is needed when you fill in your tax return (självdeklarering). The självdeklarering, declaring your previous year’s income, must be submitted by paper or electronically to the Swedish Tax Agency in May every year. There is a special service you can contact at the Tax Agency especially for this. If you have paid taxes by SINK, you do not need to submit a tax return.
Swedish personal identity number (personnummer)
If you move to Sweden and intend to live here for a year or more, you should normally register as a resident at the nearest office of the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). Once you do so, you will receive a unique 10-digit personal identification number (personnummer). You will be able to use this number to simplify a whole range of transactions such as acquiring an identity card, opening a bank account and visiting a doctor.
You can find more information in both Swedish and English at the Swedish Tax Agency's website
Staff only: Co-ordination number (samordningsnummer)
If you will stay/work in Sweden only for less than one year, you will not be registered in the Swedish Population Register and you are not able to receive a personal identification number (personnummer). Instead, your employer can request a co-ordination number for you from the Swedish Tax Agency. This is used when the employer is to deduct tax. You can also use your coordination number when communicating with various government authorities, healthcare and banks.