Faster access to care and work ability in the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland
The Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland defines how Finland will use funding from Next Generation EU, the EU’s recovery instrument. The programme will accelerate, for example, digitalisation and investment in the green transition. In addition, the programme will promote raising the employment rate and speeding up access to care. A key objective of the programme is also to support regional, social and gender equality.
The programme is divided into four pillars, of which the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for Pillar 4: Strengthening the availability and cost-effectiveness of healthcare and social welfare services, and in part for Pillar 3: Raising employment rates and skill levels to boost sustainable growth.
Discretionary government grants of Pillar 4, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, will support effective reform and development projects designed to reduce the backlog in care, rehabilitation and services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, promote faster access to care, services and rehabilitation, and strengthen multisectoral no-threshold services, prevention and early identification of problems. In addition, the knowledge base and effectiveness-based guidance supporting the cost-effectiveness of healthcare and social welfare will be strengthened. The adoption of digital solutions and innovations will be supported as part of all of these objectives.
Pillar 3, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, will forcus on promoting employment and developing the labour market. The parts of Pillar 3 under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will expand the introduction of the Work Ability Programme and the IPS Sijoita ja Valmenna! (Place and Train) development project, and will strengthen mental health and work ability as a precondition for employment and productivity. These aim both to increase the availability and accessibility of work ability support services and to support the labour market entry, return and retention of working-age mental health rehabilitatees. In addition, in order to strengthen mental health and work ability, effective methods supporting work ability will be made available for the use of workplaces and occupational health care.
Criteria for discretionary government grant projects
Projects funded with discretionary government grants must meet nationally defined criteria that for their part support the realisation of the objectives of the healthcare and social welfare reform as well as the objectives of the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland. A Decree on discretionary government grants will be issued during the autumn plenary session of 2021. In addition, an application guide specifying the application criteria, monitoring and reporting will be prepared.
Government municipalities and joint municipal authorities that together form a wellbeing area in line with Government proposal 241/2020 and the City of Helsinki (22 regions and 22 projects) may apply for discretional government grants of Pillar 4. The first call for discrectionary government grants will be opened in late 2021. A discretionary government grant of Pillar 3 may be sought from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health by municipalities and joint municipal authorities not yet participating in ongoing programmes. National development is also carried out to support regional measures.
Taina Mäntyranta, Deputy Director General, and Minna Saario, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]