Reimbursement of the cost of medical and dental education

Local authorities and local strategic partnerships can seek reimbursement of the cost of providing medical and dental education from Regional State Administrative Agencies. The cost of specialist training provided by public mental health institutions as well as service providers specially mandated by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s decree can also be reimbursed.  

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health issues a decree each year on the grounds on which reimbursement of the cost of medical and dental education can be sought. Eligibility is limited to university-certified courses run by authorised training providers. The amount of reimbursement payable per trainee per month is laid down in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s decree. The amount varies from one year to the next.  
  
Reimbursement is only paid for trainees who study or train for at least one month. Trainees must be enrolled at a Finnish university. They must also have a personal supervisor appointed by the training provider. 

You can find the contact details of our officials dealing with the matters mentioned above in the staff directory, when you use “lääkäreiden koulutuskorvaukset” or “valtion korvaukset” as search words.

Link to our staff directory (in finnish).

Eligible courses

The cost of specialist training in medicine can be reimbursed. Eligibility is limited to university-certified courses run by authorised training providers. The content of the training is specified in universities’ training programmes for each specialty.

Eligibility for reimbursement begins no earlier than on the day on which each trainee gets their licence to practise medicine. Trainees must have the supervising university’s authorisation to pursue specialist training in medicine. 

The cost of specific training in general medical practice can be reimbursed. The training normally takes three years, but full-time trainees in Finland can complete the training in two years, as credit can be given for up to one year of practical training included in Licentiate of Medicine degrees obtained in Finland or Belgium. The trainees must spend at least nine months training in a health centre and at least six months training in a hospital.  
 
The length of training and the period for which reimbursement can be sought is capped at 36 months for trainees who got their medical qualification in a country other than Finland or Belgium. Eligibility for reimbursement begins no earlier than on the day on which each trainee gets their licence to practise medicine. Trainees must have the supervising university’s authorisation to pursue specific training in general medical practice.

The cost of specialist training in dentistry can be reimbursed. Eligibility is limited to university-certified courses run by authorised training providers. Trainees must have the supervising university’s authorisation to pursue specialist training in dentistry.

The cost of advanced clinical training in dentistry can be reimbursed. Advanced clinical training was added to the requirements of Licentiate of Dentistry degrees on 1 August 2011.

Advanced clinical training in dentistry takes six months to complete. The training is undertaken in a health centre with the supervising university’s authorisation. Trainees must be employees of a local authority or a local strategic partnership.

Reimbursement can be sought under the old system towards the cost of internships of licensed dentists who started their Licentiate of Dentistry degree before 1 August 2011. 

Interns work under the direction and supervision of a more experienced, fully licensed dentist. The minimum length of training is nine months, at least six months of which must be spent in the employ of a local authority or a local strategic partnership. Eligibility for reimbursement begins no earlier than on the day on which each intern gets their licence to practise dentistry.

Non-EEA citizens with a degree in medicine or dentistry from a non-EU/EEA country can only practise in Finland once they have obtained authorisation or a licence from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. 
In order to be authorised or licensed to practise in Finland, foreign medical and dental professionals must complete whatever further studies, examinations and internships the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health considers necessary. This is designed to ensure that foreign medical and dental professionals’ qualifications match those of professionals trained in Finland and that they have sufficient language skills. 

The cost of internships mandated by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health can be reimbursed. In the case medical internships, up to six months’ worth of expenses can be reimbursed, provided that the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health is satisfied with a six-month internship. In the case dental internships, up to three months’ worth of expenses can be reimbursed, provided that the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health is satisfied with a nine-month internship. Eligibility for reimbursement ends as soon as an intern books the first of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health’s examinations.

Seeking reimbursement

Local authorities and local strategic partnerships can seek reimbursement of the cost of providing medical and dental education. The cost of specialist training provided by public mental health institutions as well as service providers specially mandated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s decree can also be reimbursed. Local authorities that have outsourced their health care services to the private sector are not eligible for reimbursement. The applicable regulations prohibit the payment of state aid to private service providers, and local authorities that outsource their services are not entitled to have their costs reimbursed. 

Reimbursement can be sought twice a year. The deadline for requesting reimbursement of costs incurred between 1 January and 30 June is 30 September, and the deadline for requesting reimbursement of costs incurred between 1 July and 31 December is 31 March. Only costs incurred during the specified periods can be reimbursed. It is the training provider’s responsibility to ensure that their request reaches the correct Regional State Administrative Agency by the deadline. Late submissions are not considered.

A special form is being prepared for seeking reimbursement. Supporting documents can be appended as necessary. 

The form must always be accompanied by documents showing the names of the medical or dental professionals who have been trained and when, the amount of reimbursement sought as well as the following:

Specific training in general medical practice and specialist training in medicine or dentistry: 

  • proof of employment and information about any breaks in training 
  • evidence of university enrolment   
  • information about previous traineeships  
  • the supervisor’s details

Advanced clinical training in dentistry: 

  • copy of an academic record showing the supervising university’s authorisation for pursuing advanced clinical training 
  • proof of employment and information about any breaks in training

Internships of licensed dentists:

  • copy of a licence to practise issued by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health 
  • proof of employment and information about any breaks in training

Internships of foreign medical and dental professionals: 

  • proof of authorisation or licensing by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health 
  • proof of employment and information about any breaks in training

The request and the supporting documents should be sent to the Regional State Administrative Agency in whose jurisdiction the training provider is established. Requests can be sent to the registry of the competent Regional State Administrative Agency by post or by email.

Regional State Administrative Agencies make decisions on requests for reimbursement during the year in which they are submitted. Training providers can be asked to supply more information if necessary. The reimbursement is paid once a decision has been made on each request.

Regional State Administrative Agencies’ decisions are not open to appeal, but they can be challenged. The deadline for challenging a decision is 30 days from the receipt of the decision. Instructions for challenging decisions are appended to every decision.

Points to take into consideration

It is the training provider’s responsibility to ensure that their request for reimbursement reaches the correct Regional State Administrative Agency on time. Late submissions are not considered.  

The monthly amount specified in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s decree is paid for each full month of training. A month is deemed to be 30 days long. If training begins in the middle of a month or there are breaks in training, the amount of reimbursement is calculated by dividing the monthly amount by 30 and then multiplying the result by the number of days left in the month. We have also prepared a tool for calculating the number of eligible days.

The impact of breaks in training is explained in universities’ training programmes. No reimbursement is payable for any periods of unpaid leave. Reimbursement can be paid for up to a total of 30 days of paid sick leave, maternity, paternity or parental leave or study leave within the meaning of the Finnish Study Leave Act during each calendar year. Any breaks in training must be reported in the request for reimbursement.

Reimbursement can also be sought for part-time training. Part-time training naturally takes longer to complete. To qualify for reimbursement, part-time trainees must progress at a rate of at least 50% of full-time training. Regional State Administrative Agencies calculate the amount of reimbursement based on the percentage of working hours that each trainee spends training. For example, the amount payable for a physician who has spent 50% of their working hours training is 50% of the maximum amount of reimbursement.

It is the training provider’s responsibility to ensure that the information in their request is accurate and that the training provided satisfies the supervising university’s criteria and is eligible for state aid.

Local authorities and local strategic partnerships that have outsourced their health care services to the private sector are not entitled to reimbursement for any costs incurred from training medical or dental professionals employed by their private service providers. State aid cannot be paid to private service providers, with the exception of those specially mandated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s decree. 

Contact information of Regional State Administrative Agency registries

Contact information for registries

Links to legal texts