Before booking your flight to Iceland, you might wonder about Iceland’s health care system. Of course, it’s not likely that you need any medical help during your vacation, but accidents do happen and in that case it’s best to know immediately where to go. What health care facilities are there on this tiny island in the middle of the North Atlantic? Where do you go if the airline lost your bag, with your medicine in it. What happens if you break a tooth? Don’t worry, with this article we will help you out about everything related to health care in Iceland.
It is your own responsibility to ensure payment for health care services. Usually, you will have to pay the full fee at the counter, and then contact your insurance company to sort things out. You will need to take care of appropriate insurance yourself, so make sure your insurance covers health care in foreign countries.
Just like in many other countries, the emergency number in Iceland is 112. Keep that in mind if you are in need of urgent care. You can dial it free of charge to reach emergency services like ambulances and the police.
If you are in need of instant health care, but don’t need an ambulance, the emergency room in Fossvogur is where you should go. Their phone number is +354 543 2000. This emergency room is meant for people that have been in accidents, have an acute illness, have been poisoned or have injuries following violent attacks. If you go there with an injury that does not require instant care, you will probably wait for hours before you get help. Urgent cases have priority, and usually there will be an incoming stream of people that need acute care.
If it is possible, don’t go to the emergency room in Fossvogur, but wait till the next day and make an appointment with a general practitioner. There are several health care centres in Reykjavík (heilsugæslustöð in Icelandic) and you can call +354 513 5000 to make an appointment. You can also go to the daily walk-in hours in the late afternoon (only possible on weekdays).
On Háaleitisbraut 68, you can visit an after-hours clinic, Læknavaktin, which is open between 17:00 and 23:30 during weekdays and between 08:00 and 23:30 during weekends. You do not need an appointment to get care there, and the general practitioners can prescribe the medicine you need. You can then head to a pharmacy in the same building to pick up your medicine. The clinic is open to anybody, so tourists and visitors are welcome to go there if they need medical help.
If you forgot or lost your medicine, you will need a prescription from a general practitioner before you can pick up the medicine at a pharmacy. Most pharmacy chains are open between 09:00 and 18:00, but the Lyfja pharmacies are open until 24:00, and Lyf og heilsa at Háaleitisbraut 68 is also open till 24:00. The only pharmacy on Laugavegur, the main street in downtown Reykjaík, is Íslands Apótek, but Lyfja is also on Hafnarstræti, near Lækjartorg.
Map Pharmacies in Downtown Reykjavík
If you need immediate dental care, you can go to Tannlaeknavaktin, the dental emergency care facility in Reykjavík. Only urgent conditions will be taken care off immediately, and follow-up dental care is done at a later time. They are open between 8:00 and 22:00 on weekdays and between 10:00 and 20:00 on weekends. If you have a dental emergency after the closing time of Tannlaeknavaktin, you should go to the hospital emergency room.
Of course, we hope you will have a healthy holiday without any problems, but please use this information when you are in need of health care in Iceland.