How will local services and health centre services change?
The hospital network and joint emergency services are currently undergoing a reform. The most demanding specialised emergency services will be centred at 12 hospitals. Director Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health explains in a video interview why specialised medical care is being reformed and how local services and health centre services will change.
Link to the video interview:
Transcript of the interview
Why is the reform of specialised medical care necessary?
"It is necessary to reform specialised medical care, because in particular demanding specialised care, which requires operating theatre capacity, thorough monitoring and intensive care, is too dispersed in our country. Quality improvements are often achieved for these functions by centring activities. This also involves taking into account a sufficient number of staff as well as cost levels."
What does the reform mean in practice?
"In practice, the reform will mean that we will make an effort to centre operative functions in particular at our largest units. For example, these functions will be transferred more and more from regional hospitals to central hospitals. In addition to this, all the most demanding functions will be centred at the largest central hospitals and university hospitals."
What will happen to local services and health centre services in the future?
"At first, the reform will also centre emergency services, meaning urgent medical care outside of announced opening hours, and especially night time emergency services at larger units. This will not be possible if we do not offer more prompt doctor consultation services than previously. Health centres will be advised to act accordingly. In other words, there will be more scheduled evening and weekend doctor's visits than presently. This will mean that urgent services that the population most often requires will be more easily accessible than they have been up until now.
What will the new hospital network be like?
Not all the related details have been decided on at this time. The board has decided that we will have five university hospitals and additionally seven hospitals with broader round-the-clock emergency services. All the currently functioning central hospitals will continue to carry out emergency services in one form or another, and most of them will be able to offer services in numerous specialised fields. We are presently initiating a local consultation on the matter. Only after this has been completed, can we submit final regulation proposals that will then be put forth for comments."
Interview and video: Kimmo Vainikainen