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Health services

The aim of health care in Finland is to maintain and improve people's health, wellbeing, work and functional capacity and social security, as well as to reduce health inequalities.

The system is based on preventive health care and well-run, comprehensive health services.

The MSAH is responsible for social and health policy and preparing associated legislation.

Health promotion

Health promotion and disease prevention are the primary aims of Finnish health policy.

Municipal healthcare

Everyone is entitled to adequate social and health services. Municipalities are responsible for arranging and funding health care.

Health services are divided into primary health care and specialized medical care. Primary health care refers to the municipally arranged monitoring of the health of the population; heal the promotion and various services. Primary health care services are provided at municipal health centres.

Specialised medical care refers to specialist health examinations and treatment. Most specialised medical care is performed in hospitals.
The status and rights of patients and timeframes for access to care are set out in legislation.

Occupational health care

Employers are responsible for preventive health care and, where possible, nursing care.

Private health care

Private health care services supplement municipal services. Municipalities or joint municipal authorities may also procure services from private service providers.

Development

The reform of the social and health care service structure is aimed to ensure the quality, effectiveness and timeous availability of services and to support the stability and sustainability of municipal economies.

The National Development Programme for Social Welfare and Health Care (Kaste) aims to reduce health and welfare inequalities and ensure that social and health care structures and services are arranged so as to be client-centred and financially sustainable.

Other authorities

The National Institute for Welfare and Health (THL) is a specialist and research institution tasked with research and development on health services and other specialist tasks in the field.

The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) guides, supervises and runs the licensing administration of social and health care.

Regional State Administrative Agencies are responsible for supervising health care on a regional level. These, together with Valvira, also supervise health care professionals.

The Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) is responsible for licensing and supervisory tasks, research and development and producing and disseminating pharmaceutical information.