You are entitled to any healthcare and dental care you might need. These services are free for all children in Sweden. If you get sick or feel unwell and need to see a doctor or dentist, your guardian or someone from your accommodation can help you book an appointment. Remember to bring your LMA card with you to your visit.
Everyone who applies for asylum in Sweden is offered a health exam. The purpose of the health exam is to make sure that you receive help and treatment as soon as possible if you need care.
During the exam, you will receive information about how the healthcare system in Sweden works. You will answer questions about your health and will be offered tests.
Take the opportunity to ask any questions you might have, and do not be afraid to tell healthcare staff how you are feeling. The healthcare staff are bound by professional secrecy, and the health exam does not affect your case with the Swedish Migration Agency.
If you need glasses, your guardian can accompany you to an optician for an eye exam. If you need to buy glasses, the optician must sign a piece of paper that you bring to the Swedish Migration Agency so that you can apply for a special allowance for this.
You have the right to receive both preventive dental care and the treatment that the dentist decides you need. Dental care is free for all children in Sweden.
Violence and sexual abuse
Many asylum seekers have been subjected to violence or sexual abuse in their home country or while fleeing to Sweden. Such experiences can make you feel bad both physically and mentally, but help is available. For example, you can talk to the healthcare staff during your health exam, to staff at your youth guidance centre, or to the school nurse or counsellor at your school. They can help you get the right care.
All forms of violence and sexual assault are illegal in Sweden. It is always the person who has harmed you who is responsible, and you can never be punished for being subjected to violence or sexual abuse. This applies regardless of what relationship you have with each other. It also applies, for example, to rape within a marriage and when parents beat their own children. When an adult has sex with a child under the age of 15, it counts as rape. In Sweden, it is also illegal to force or trick someone into getting married, and children under the age of 18 are not allowed to marry.
Contact the police at telephone number 114 14 if you are being subjected to violence or sexual assault or if you are afraid of being married off. If you are in acute danger, call the police at 112.
Genital mutilation (or ‘female circumcision’, as some people call it) is when you cut or stitch up a girl’s vulva or damage it in some other way.
Genital mutilation is completely prohibited in Sweden and is seen as a serious crime. A person who has been subjected to genital mutilation can have both physical and mental problems. If someone has done this to you and you have problems because of it, you can get help from the healthcare service. Talk to your school nurse, the staff at your youth guidance centre, or your health centre.
Sexually transmitted diseases
You have the right to knowledge about how to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases and how to avoid infecting others. Examples of sexually transmitted diseases include chlamydia, hepatitis, gonorrhoea and HIV. If you know that you have such a disease, you must inform the healthcare staff during your health exam, so that you can receive care and avoid infecting someone else. If you are unsure whether you are infected, the healthcare staff can take samples.
Contraception and maternity care
In Sweden, maternity care and obstetric care is free for asylum seekers. You also have the right to free contraceptive advice, so that you can choose whether you want to become a parent. Both girls and boys have the right to information on how to protect themselves and others from pregnancy. Girls who have become pregnant and do not want to have the child have the right to terminate the pregnancy through an abortion.
It is common to feel worried about what will happen in the future while you are waiting for a decision on your asylum application. Some people may also feel bad because they have experienced frightening things or because they miss their family. Examples of symptoms of poor mental health include anxiety, difficulty sleeping or feeling sad and depressed.
You can get help and support from the healthcare service where you live. You can also talk to the counsellor or school nurse at your school.
A disability is when you have an injury or an illness that makes it difficult, for example, to move, hear, speak or understand things. If you have a disability, you have the right to receive practical support in your everyday life, at school or when you talk to the Swedish Migration Agency. Having a disability does not affect your application for asylum in Sweden. If you have (or if you think you have) a disability, you can tell the healthcare staff during your health exam.
More information about health
On www.1177.se/other-languages External link, opens in new window., there is information in several languages about various diseases and how the healthcare system in Sweden works. You can also call the healthcare information services at telephone number 1177. Then you can talk to a nurse who can answer questions and give advice on where to turn to get the right care.
The website www.youmo.se External link, opens in new window. provides information for young people about health, relationships, sex and much more, in several languages.
At www.rfsu.se/upos External link, opens in new window. you will find short informational videos for those who want to know more about their body, sexuality and health. The films are available in many different languages. Here you can find, among other things, informational videos about contraception, childbirth and pregnancy.
Kvinnofridslinjen (Sweden’s National Women’s Helpline) offers advice and support to women have been subjected to threats and physical, psychological and sexual violence. Call 020-50 50 50. They can arrange for an interpreter in just a few minutes. You can also read more at kvinnofridslinjen.se External link, opens in new window.. The information is available in several languages.
Call the police at 114 14 if you want to report a crime, such as someone hitting you or sexually assaulting you. You can also call the police if you are afraid of being married off or circumcised. If the situation is urgent, call 112.