Sote-uudistuksesta on saatu ratkaisu
The parliamentary steering group preparing the social welfare and health care services reform reached an agreement on key provisions of the act on the arrangement of social welfare and health care services and the next steps in the process.
"This historic solution was arrived at through broad-based cooperation. We found a consensus on how high-quality social welfare and health care services can be provided in Finland in the years and decades to come. What made this task even more demanding were issues related to the Constitution and the Act on Public Contracts", noted Chairperson of the steering group, Minister of Health and Social Services Susanna Huovinen.Five strong regions to lay the foundation
The foundation of the solution will be laid by social welfare and health care regions responsible for providing the services. The most important instrument for decision-making in the regions will be a decision on service provision that will be made once every four years. This decision will also allow the regions to cater for their special features.
Among others, the decision will determine how social welfare and health care services will be arranged and who will be responsible for delivering them. In this decision, the duties of the municipalities and joint municipal authorities responsible for service provision will also be set out, resources and funding will be allocated, and the implementation of rights to local services and linguistic rights will be ensured. The decision on service provision will also contain the key principles governing services outsourced to private service providers and organisations.Principles of service provision
The municipalities that are part of a region will jointly determine the principles and the extent of service provision. The region will also make decisions on assigning responsibility for providing services to municipalities and joint municipal authorities. Consequently, the municipalities' and joint municipal authorities' responsibility for delivering services will be determined by the decision on service provision in the region. The criteria for the responsibility for providing services will be laid down in legislation.
The social welfare and health care region will direct the parties responsible for service provision and negotiate with them annually. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will approve the decision on service provision and negotiate with the regions every year on how national policies on social welfare and health care strategy will be implemented in the region.
In line with the decision on service provision, the municipalities and joint municipal authorities may continue to provide services themselves. They may also outsource them, for example to organisations and companies, or use service vouchers. A social welfare and health care region may also be directly responsible for providing support services and, in very exceptional cases, certain other services.Draft to be circulated for comments
A draft of the act will be circulated to municipalities for comments in mid-August. The relevant government bill will be debated in the Parliament later in the autumn.
"The social welfare and health care services reform is the most important reform of these services in decades. It is thus vital that we receive extensive feedback on the solution we have put together. The aim is to ensure that Finnish people will have effective social welfare and health care services of a high quality. The steering group worked well together, and we will continue our efforts after the draft has been circulated for comments", said Minister Huovinen.Further information
Ms Susanna Huovinen, Minister of Health and Social Services, tel. +358 (0)295 1 63108
Ms Päivi Sillanaukee, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 (0)2951 63356
Ms Kirsi Varhila, Director-General, tel. +358 (0)2951 63338
Mr Pekka Järvinen, Ministerial Counsellor, tel. +358 (0)2951 63367
Ms Päivi Salo, Ministerial Counsellor, tel. +358 (0)2951 63113
This is an English translation of a press release originally issued in Finnish on 25.6.2014.