From Iceland — Number Of Foreign Tourists Treated At Hospital Increases 193%

Number Of Foreign Tourists Treated At Hospital Increases 193%

Published July 10, 2017

Elías Þórsson
Photo by
Mary Frances Davidson

The number of foreign tourists seeking medical attention at the Landspítali national hospital increased by 193% between 2013-2016, reports

According to numbers from the hospital, 1,594 patients were treated in 2013, compared to 4,665 three years later. This has lead to an increase in unpaid hospital bills accumulated by tourists, which amounted to 30-35 million króna last year. The amount of paid hospital bills has risen in the same period from 271 to 604 million króna.

The red shows the number of foreigners arriving. The blue show the number of foreigners admitted.

Heavier workload

The increasing number of admitted tourists has placed increased pressure on the hospital as often foreign patients require more complex services than locals. More assistance is needed in filling out forms—which increases workload—and usually further medical information needs to be acquired from the patient’s country of birth.

Many documents need to be translated upon a patient’s release and translators are needed in cases where English language proficiency is lacking. Furthermore, a lot of planning and work goes into organising medical flights for patients who require such assistance.

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