OECD healthcare priorities support Finnish reform goals
The findings of the OECD’s three-year investigation into the performance of its 21 member states’ health systems indicate main goals of Finland’s healthcare policy are moving in the right direction.
The results of the survey, started in 2001 and titled the OECD Health Project, are contained in the hefty final report ‘Towards High Performing Health Systems’.
The aim has been to look at how member countries are dealing with basic challenges facing their health systems: improving the quality of healthcare, upgrading access, meeting patient’s needs, sustainable financing and efficiency.
These are familiar territory to Finland, as they mirror the main aims of the country’s National Health Care Project, started two years ago to reform the healthcare system in the face of a variety of challenges. As a result, the priorities outlined by the OECD complement those of the national project.
Healthcare in OECD countries currently places greater emphasis on prevention, long-term care and treatment, the recruitment of professionals and the equitable availability of services. Rising trends include informal care and exploiting new technology. There is less emphasis on pursuing competitive practices in providing services.
These trends correspond to developments in Finland too. The same goes for the growing preference for health promotion as part of prevention schemes, which is part of the Finnish Health 2015 strategy document. In many OECD countries, however, less than five percent of resources for healthcare go to health promotion.