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​Children and Healthcare Services​

  • Children will often get sick during the first years of their life, while their immune system is getting stronger. ​
  • Common illnesses among infants include stomach flu, fever, the common cold, and ear infections, as well as viral and bacterial infections such as streptococcus pneumonia and chicken pox. ​
  • Physicians will sometimes prescribe antibiotics for children and it is important to ensure that they complete the dose regimen. ​
  • Some children will need to get ear tubes due to ear infections. ​
  • Antipyretic suppositories or mixtures for children can be purchased at local pharmacies.

Children – Good to Know

  • When children begin preschool, they will be in contact with many other children and this can sometimes lead to infections and maladies to begin with. ​
  • A good way to avoid infections is to wash the children's hands and change their socks when they return from preschool. ​
  • Lice and pinworms are a common issue among preschool and primary school children. ​
  • It is necessary to obtain medicine from a physician (or at a pharmacy) to treat pinworms. It is also essential to wash all linens and towels, and to disinfect all surfaces. ​
  • Pharmacies carry medicine to treat head lice. It is important to comb through the children's hair regularly with a lice comb to remove nit and avoid the lice from taking hold. ​

Children and Healthcare Services

  • The healthcare center is the first place to go when seeking healthcare services for children. ​
  • It is possible to meet with a nurse and to get an appointment with a doctor following that. ​
  • It is also possible to make an appointment directly with a doctor.​
  • Furthermore, the afternoon shifts at healthcare centers accept walk-ins. ​
  • Nurses within healthcare centers provide services at primary schools. They monitor children's growth, oversee vaccinations, and educate children about health-related issues. ​


  • Pediatricians can be found at hospitals as well as private clinics. ​
  • For example, Reykjavík has a children's clinic at Domus barnalæknar Urðahvarfi 8, 203 Kópavogi.​
  • Appointments can be made in advance and booked for the afternoon shift or on weekends (Phone no. 563-1010, ​
  • General practitioners will also make referrals for children to see pediatricians.​
  • The children's medical treatment facility Barnaspítali Hringsins is located at the Landspítalinn university hospital. It has an inpatient ward and a pediatric critical care unit. ​

Children with Disability and Children with Developmental & Behavioural Deviations

  • The local healthcare center is the first place to go when children are having difficulties. There, the staff will arrive at a conclusion in consultation with the parents on whether to refer the child to specialists. ​
  • These can be pediatricians, psychiatrists who specialize in children and adolescents, or other specialists in pediatric care. ​
  • "Þroska- og hegðunarstöðin" is a clinic which is operated by the healthcare system (Þönglabakki 1, 109 R.) There they offer diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and training to do with developmental and behavioural deviations. A referral is necessary.
  • BUGL is a psychiatric inpatient treatment center for children and adolescents with mental health issues. A referral from a physician is necessary.
  • If a developmental disability is suspected, a consultation must be booked at a healthcare center. The center will then refer the child to the State Diagnostic and Counselling Center (Greiningar og ráðgjafastöð ríkisins (GRR)).
  • The role of GRR is to ensure that children with autism spectrum disorders or severe developmental disabilities receive the necessary diagnosis, counseling and resources to increase their opportunities and improve their quality of life. ​
  • Children who are diagnosed with disabilities and the parents of those children are entitled to assistance from the municipality they reside in, according to laws regarding people with disabilities. ​
  • The municipalities offer services for people with disabilities and their families. ​
  • Parents may be eligible to receive financial support from the State Social Security Institute (Tryggingarstofnun - to aid in the care of children with disabilities and help mitigate expenses relating to their care. ​
  • The Icelandic Health Insurance (Sjúkratryggingar Íslands - pay for medical aids and equipment, rehabilitation/training, and travel costs. ​
  • In Icelandic society, people with disability are entitled to security, support, service and participation in society on their own terms.​

​The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities​

  • Iceland ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2016. ​
  • The convention applies to human rights and it states that people with disabilities should enjoy the same rights and opportunities as others, and that they should receive the necessary support to that end.​
  • The Convention's Core Principles Include:​
    • Respect for human dignity, diversity, autonomy, and the independence of all persons.​
    • A ban against any form of discrimination based on a person's disability.​
    • Equal opportunity and support, such as for education, employment, family life, and independent living. ​
    • Accessibility for all.​
    • Equality between men and women.​
    • Consultation with people with disabilities. ​
    • Education and presentation of the convention.​
    • Societal changes to enable everyone to enjoy equal opportunity.​

 Copayment System - Costs

  • Icelandic Health Insurance (Sjúkratryggingar Íslands (SÍ)) will pay for a portion of the cost of all medical services and pharmaceuticals for those who qualify for state medical insurance.
  • The SÍ copayment system requires individuals to pay up to a certain maximum amount each month for their healthcare services. ​
  • The maximum is lower for people with disabilities, senior citizens, and children. ​
  • Services provided at healthcare centers, hospitals, private practise, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and psychologists (through an agreement with SÍ, for children under 18) are covered by the copayment system. ​
  • Individuals who live outside the greater Reykjavík metropolitan area can apply for financial aid due to travel and/or accommodation costs in relation to medical treatment. This financial aid must be applied for in advance. ​
  • Refugees enjoy the same rights as others with SÍ and the same rights to healthcare services. Recent arrivals who have acquired international protection, will be granted an exception from the general rule of a six-month waiting period for medical insurance. ​
  • The Directorate of Immigration (Útlendingastofnun) will send the information to SÍ to register refugees into the health insurance system. ​

 SÍ Rights' Portal –

  • On the website of Icelandic Health Insurance (SÍ), you will find the SÍ Rights' Portal. ​
  • There, people can access "Mínar síður" (My Pages) by using electronic ID. ​
  • Through "Mínar Síður", individuals can find information regarding their rights with SÍ, receipts for medical services they have received, and their status as it relates to pharmaceutical costs and medical service fees. ​
  • It is important to enter the correct bank information in "Mínar síður" to ensure that SÍ can reimburse any costs when necessary. ​

 Pharmacies/Drug Stores

  • At pharmacies, individuals can purchase pharmaceuticals, health-related products and cosmetics, along with many other products. ​
  • All pharmacies have a pharmacist on staff. There, you can get advice and information on pharmaceutical and health-related products from a pharmacist. ​
  • Most pharmaceuticals require a prescription but certain drugs are sold over the counter, such as mild pain and allergy medication, gastritis medication, and acid reflux medication. ​
  • Prescriptions are sent electronically by physicians.​
  • Individuals are required to provide their kennitala (identification number) at the pharmacy to obtain prescription drugs. ​
  • Individuals are also required to carry valid identification when they purchase and retrieve prescription drugs. ​
  • It is not permitted to retrieve prescription drugs on other people's behalf (those who are 18 and older) except with an official permission from the person named in the prescription. ​
  • That permission can be given electronically at

 ​Pharmaceutical Copayment

  • The health insurance copayment for the purchasing of drugs is raised proportionally as the costs for the individual rises over a 12-month period. ​
  • Individuals will therefore bear the highest cost the first time they purchase the drugs but subsequently that cost is lowered (within the twelve-month period). ​
  • When people make their first purchase of a drug, a twelve-month period is initiated, for example: if the first purchase is made 15 August 2020, the period concludes on 15 August 2021. ​
  • The period starts again once an individual purchases a drug for the first time again. ​
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