Provinces assess primary services
Health centre workers reckon that services for older people are sufficient in nearly all parts of southern Finland and in about half of the municipalities covering the rest of the country.
The assessment is contained in a report issued by the Ministry of Interior on how provincial administrations rated the state of basic services in 2002.
The views of provincial governments contained in the report, which include assessments from health centres, indicate that while primary health care services are generally available the quality of access to them varies from place to place. The availability of primary health services in a small percentage of municipalities was regarded as bad, while in most cases availability was rated as fairly good.
According to the report, southern Finland compares favourably in the availability of services for people over 65 to the rest of the country but also contains the biggest imbalances between municipalities.
The suggestions of provincial governments contained in the report focus on the need to improve services, particularly those of a preventive nature, and to seek alternative support from private or ‘third sector’ providers in areas where services are deficient.
Ms Päivi Hämäläinen, Ministerial Councellor, Health/Medical Affairs