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Department for Steering of Healthcare and Social Welfare (OHO)

The Department for Steering of Healthcare and Social Welfare (OHO) is responsible for the general steering, planning and development of healthcare and social welfare in Finland.

The Department for Steering of Healthcare and Social Welfare

  • steers the range of health and social services, i.e. publicly funded health and social services.
  • develops IT management in health and social services and the interoperability of information systems.
  • coordinates the economy and activities of counties and prepares issues pertaining to the funding of healthcare and social welfare.
  • is responsible for the strategic development and assessment of the health and social services of counties
  • prepares the national objectives of healthcare and social welfare together with other departments in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and sees to it that the national objectives are taken into account in the steering of counties’ activities.
  • steers issues managed by the Social Insurance Institution, as far as the Social Insurance Institution is managing statutory special duties under the direction of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Performance guidance

The Department is responsible for the performance guidance of the following institutes:

Groups and personnel of the Department

The Acting Director of the Department for Steering of Healthcare and Social Welfare is Kirsi Varhila.

Directly under the Director is the Shared Group, which is responsible for the coordination and development of the Department’s activities and for general and personnel administration. Its tasks also include the preparation and coordination of financial issues within the Department’s sector, the coordination of international issues within the Department’s sector, and development of the preparation of statutes.

Responsibilities and personnel of the Department’s units:

Unit for Steering (OHJA)

The Unit for Steering (OHJA) is responsible for the general strategic steering, planning and development of healthcare and social welfare in the counties. It also steers the national service selection and coordinates the finances and activities of healthcare and social welfare in the counties. The Unit also prepares the national objectives of healthcare and social welfare.

The Unit is headed by Director General Kari Hakari.

Unit for Digitalisation and Information Management (DITI)

The Unit for Digitalisation and Information Management (DITI) is responsible for guiding the counties in matters concerning information management, IT management, information security and protection and ICT solutions in healthcare and social welfare. It also prepares the national enterprise architecture descriptions and coordinates the architecture work.

The Unit is headed by Minna Saario.

Unit for the Health and Social Services Reform (SOMU)

The Unit for the Health and Social Services Reform (SOMU) is responsible for preparing the reginal implementation of the health and social services reform and provides the counties wide-ranging support in the change process. It also supports the adoption of national guidelines and recommendations. The Unit operates on a fixed-term basis during the health, social services and regional government reform.

The Unit operates on a fixed-term basis during the health, social services and regional government reform.  

The Unit is headed by Sinikka Salo.