Healthcare in Iceland

Healthcare in Iceland
Iceland is one of the healthiest countries in the world. It has low pollution, high life expectancy and an extremely low rate of infant mortality. The health service is well organised, progressive and has more doctors per head of population than any other country. There is no private health sector in Iceland and all citizens regardless of status qualify for healthcare under the state healthcare service.


State Healthcare

The health service is controlled and funded by central government, which collects money for the health service from taxation. Every citizen is entitled to some degree of medical cover, despite the size of his or her contribution to the system.

All employers must pay a tax, based on a percentage of wages, to the State Treasury for every employee working for them.

All registered foreign nationals, who have been resident in the country for six months are entitled to automatic cover from the state health system.

State health insurance entitles citizens to hospital treatment and care, emergency medical care, prescription medicine, physiotherapy, ambulance transportation, surgical aids and other medical equipment, dental treatment and maternity care.

Citizens who are temporarily unable to work and are no longer in receipt of their salary are entitled to daily payments of sickness benefit for the duration of their illness or incapacity.

Each person receives the same sum, which is decided by the government.

It is not possible to opt out of the state system. Employees contribute to the system through the payment of income tax, part of which goes to funding the health service.


The government decides the level of fees. Fees are charged for treatment at the health centres and hospital outpatient care. However, there are no fees for inpatient treatment.

Under eighteens get a free yearly dental check-up and if any treatment is necessary, their parents must pay 25 percent of the total cost unless they need more advanced treatment like crowns and orthodontics.

In these cases, there is a different fee scale. Old age pensioners, the severely disabled and people with acute illness receive free and/or subsidised dental treatment. All other citizens must pay for their own treatment.