The Danish Health Care System - Regarding Psychotherapy
a guide for gaining psychological support in denmark
It is not easy to be in a foreign country, needing psychological help. I often answer questions from international site visitors on how the Danish health care system works, regarding psychological treatment. That is not strange, as it can be quite a jungle to navigate through - even for Danes! Below, I sum up some basic information that you might find helpful if you are a newcomer.
Publicly supported psychotherapy With a referral from your general practician, you have the right to receive psychotherapy with public financial support. That will bring the normal fee of about 900 kr. down to about 300 kr. This requires that you have a CPR number, and a so-called "yellow card" - the Danish public health insurance certificate.
Find below a complete list of criteria that your doctor will have in mind when you ask him for a referral to a psychologist:
robbery, violence and rape victims
traffic and accident victims
relatives of seriously mentally ill persons
persons suffering from seriously debilitating illness
relatives of persons suffering from a seriously debilitating illness
relatives of recently deceased persons
persons who have attempted suicide
women having undergone induced abortion after the 12th week of pregnancy
persons who, before the age of 18, have been victims of incest or other sexual assaults
persons above the age of 18 years with mild to moderate depression
persons between the ages of 18 and 38 years with mild to moderate anxiety disorder, including mild to moderate OCD
The Danish authorities are controlling expenses for psychotherapy by limiting the amount of psychologists with a public support agreement. Further, there is a limitation to the amount of clients with public support, that any of those psychologists can take in every year. There is a quota for every of the above criteria, and the quota for depression and anxiety are often filled up quickly, resulting in even longer waiting lists than you will usually find when using a public support agreement. Should you have a referral, you might try a search on www.psykologeridanmark.dk for length of psychologists' waiting lists in your area (you might need help from a Danish speaking friend, however, as the site is not translated into English). Even without a referral, the site is handy for selecting your psychologist based on localization, length of waiting list, specialization, method and so forth. I do not have a public service agreement and thus can not offer you the public discount.
Private health insurances The terms of coverage for psychotherapy differs between private health insurances. Many insurances offer full coverage of sessions with an authorized psychologist (as am I). However, some insurances have their own network of psychologists, and will not (or not fully) cover sessions held outside of this network. Some insurances initially advice you to choose from their own network of psychologists (as those work under reduced rates, thus making it cheaper for the insurance company). However, should there be special reasons such as language barriers or other individual concerns, it may be possible to choose your own psychologist. Please check the terms of your insurance for specific information.
Sygesikringen danmark Sygesikringen danmark is a members-owned private health insurance that contributes financially to ordinary health-related expenses. You can choose between four different insurance groups. Most of these groups cover part of the cost of psychotherapy, if you meet one of the criteria mentioned under Publicly Supported Psychotherapy. This applies to sessions with an authorized psychologist (as myself), whether you have a referral from your general practician or not. Please check the terms of your insurance for specific information. You can read more about Sygesikringen danmark in English here.
Community financed psychological treatment In some cases, you might be able to get full or partial coverage of psychotherapy through your community. Please ask your social worker at your community, whose name you should be able to request at Borgerservice, phone (Aarhus): +45 89402000.
Industrial Industry Board (Arbejdsskadestyrelsen) In relation to certain work related mental injuries, the Danish Industrial Board (Arbejdsskadestyrelsen) subsidizes psychological treatment. Follow this link or call +45 72206000 for further information.
Acute psychiatric care In case of severe and acute crisis, you might need to go to the psychiatric emergency room ("Psykiatrisk Skadestue"), which is part of the hospital system in Denmark. To go there, you need to talk to your general practicial first. If you need help outside of office hours, the doctors on call (”Lægevagten”) can help you further: Phone (Central Jutland Region/Region Midtjylland): +45 70113131. Your general practicial or doctor on call will refer you to further relevant treatment.
I hope this was useful to you! In case you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.