Communicable diseases legislation to be reformed – Ministry of Social Affairs and Health appoints steering group and preparatory working group
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has launched an overall reform of the Communicable Diseases Act, which is to be implemented in 2023–2025. The reform aims to intensify the prevention of communicable diseases and to strengthen preparedness for epidemics and pandemics.
The Ministry has appointed a steering group and a preparatory working group for the reform. The steering group will be responsible for the progress of the project. It will also provide guidance regarding the work of the preparatory working group and outline the objectives for the project. It will report on its work to the ministerial working group on a sustainable welfare society. The steering group is chaired by Director General Taneli Puumalainen from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
The preparatory working group will make proposals on the regulatory options, assess the impact of the regulation, cooperate with stakeholders and prepare the relevant government proposal. The preparatory working group is chaired by Anni-Riitta Virolainen-Julkunen, Senior Ministerial Adviser for Medical Affairs.
Numerous amendments need to be made to the Communicable Diseases Act
The legislation on communicable diseases was last reformed in 2016, and the reformed legislation has been applied since 1 March 2017. Since then, it has become obvious that, in addition to the amendments that need to be made based on the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many other amendments that need to be made to the Act. For example, international treaties and EU legislation that have entered into force since the previous reform must be transposed into national legislation.
The reform of the Communicable Diseases Act is interlinked with many other national legislative projects, such as the reform of the Emergency Powers Act. One of the objectives set out in the Programme of Prime Minister Orpo’s Government is to implement such health and social services reforms that help wellbeing services counties prepare for future challenges more effectively.
- Appointment decision concerning the overall reform of the Communicable Diseases Act (available in Finnish and Swedish)
- Press release of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 21 September 2023: Communicable diseases legislation to be reformed in 2023–2025 (available in Finnish and Swedish)
Taneli Puumalainen, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 280
Anni-Riitta Virolainen-Julkunen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Medical Affairs, tel. +358 295 163 324
Niilo Heinonen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Security, tel. +358 295 163 603