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Wellbeing in the future depends on functional capacity and inclusive participation

Sosiaali- ja terveysministeriö
3.10.2014 6.32
Press release -

According to a recent Future Review of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, people's good health and ability to work are key to maintaining a sustainable economy and increasing employment. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health published its review alongside other branches of government on Friday 3 October 2014.

The objectives and activities of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are an elemental part of our society and cannot be discussed in isolation from other fields of activity. Good health and an ability to work improve people's wellbeing and overall quality of life. They also increase employability. Increasing the number of years spent in employment is one of the key objectives for Finnish society.

"The only way to extend careers is ensuring that our citizens maintain their work ability and functional capacity for longer. Competitiveness, productivity, and a functional economy all depend on people's wellbeing at work. It is the joint responsibility of every member of society to support the driving force behind our nation's economy" emphasises Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Päivi Sillanaukee.

Social security and welfare service are needed to support people's wellbeing and ability to cope in stressful and risk-filled circumstances. Preventing exclusion and safeguarding social welfare is a key part of promoting a just and stable society. A nation's trust in a democratic society is not maintained by itself, rather it requires openness, equality, and social cohesion.

"Further effort is required in order to ensure that more people have jobs. Taxation and the social security system must function in such a way that it is always more profitable to be in work and that our employment rate goes up", Permanent Secretary Sillanaukee comments.

Citizens are assuming a more active role

People who use social and health care services are increasingly helping to develop and assess them. There are higher expectations regarding customer relationships, the accessibility of services, and mobility. According to the Ministry's Future Review, Finland can lead the way in developing new approaches to these issues.

A substantial structural reform of the social and health care system is both unavoidable and a positive step towards renewal. Social and welfare services are needed more as the population ages. Current resources and staffing levels will not be sufficient to meet the increases in the need for support services unless the ways in which these services operate are significantly changed and made more cost-effective.

New ways of using data, utilising information resources, and new technologies all open up opportunities for work in the social and health care sector. Thanks to advances in technology, service users are now able to participate in the implementation and monitoring of their own service and treatment measures or care, as well as in the decision-making processes concerning these measures.

"Alongside our social and health care system, Finland's expertise in technology, our biobanks and comprehensive knowledge base, can generate competitive export products", Permanent Secretary Sillanaukee enthuses.

We must support healthy choices

Our wellbeing is profoundly affected by the way we exercise, live and work, and by the threats and risks we encounter in our environment. A high-quality living and naturalenvironment promotes our health and wellbeing. For example, ensuring that buildings are kept in good condition and that indoor air is of a high standard plays an important role in maintaining the health and strong economy of a nation. Indoor environments are especially important, as people spend between 80% and 90% of their time indoors. Health and safety must be at the forefront of decision-making across all sectors, for example in drawing up and implementing policies on energy, climate, and construction and development.

Further information

Permanent Secretary Päivi Sillanaukee, tel. +358 295 163356
Director of Development Advisory Unit Marja-Liisa Parjanne, tel. +358 295 163112

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