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Comprehensive reform of social and health care information management legislation begins

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 8.2.2021 11.16
Press release 29/2021

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has launched a project programme to reform the legislation governing social and health care information management.

The reform seeks to formulate integrated legislation governing the processing of social and health care client data that will include statutes on data protection, document handling, national information system services and information management guidance. The legal framework for social and health care information management would thereby form a clear, coherent and comprehensive package that satisfies the requirements of the Constitution of Finland and the General Data Protection Regulation, while supporting development of the social and health services system and its services, and integration of social and health care.

The first stage of the project programme will reform such aspects as the provisions governing the manner of archiving the documents of private social and health care providers that have ceased trading, and who serves as controller in relation to these documents, and the manner of processing patient information recorded by social care services. Regulations governing patient records, such as document archiving periods, would also be prescribed by law.

The second stage will involve a more detailed review of the needs for using patient and client information and the purpose of such use as part of the process of enhancing services and associated legislation.

Timetable for the reform

The reform will be a broad package implemented over at least two terms of government with a view to processing the first stage amendments during the term of the present government. The reform will be prepared under the official purview of the Ministry, while requiring extensive consultation with social and health care organisations and specialists. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will arrange working meetings and hearings with stakeholders during 2021.

Why pursue this reform?

Current legislation is fragmented and partly outdated, and problems have arisen in applying and harmonising various laws. The new opportunities afforded by technological progress have also brought about novel needs for regulation. Changes are required in particular with respect to processing client and patient information, and releasing information between social and health care services and in joint services.

For further details, please contact:

Anna Kärkkäinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 29 516 3702, [email protected]
Marja Penttilä, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 29 516 3682, [email protected]
Joni Komulainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 29 516 3453, [email protected]

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