Megatrends influence health and social care policies

Future health and social care policies will be influenced by demographic changes, globalisation, the transformation of work, technological advancements, and active individuals.

These changes will create opportunities in view of social stability, sustainable growth and reducing inequalities.

Demographic change and globalisation

Finland’s demographics are changing as the population is ageing, birth rates are declining and migration is diversifying.

At the same time, climate change, cross-border threats to health, extreme weather phenomena and resulting natural disasters increase social insecurity. These megatrends put a major strain on the financing, democracy, safety and wellbeing of our welfare society.

We need to take determined action to prevent inequalities between genders, socio-economic groups and geographical areas, as well as to address social exclusion amidst these changes.

We can safeguard equality and people’s wellbeing by maintaining and improving people’s ability to work and function. This calls for a host of new solutions that support people’s wellbeing, living arrangements and active inclusion.

Transformation of work and technological advancements

Structural changes in the global industry are transforming the operating models of our welfare society. The form, content, meaning and division of labour as well as employer-employee relationships are changing.

The livelihoods of more and more people are based on projects, multiple jobs and self-employment. Transitions between jobs are sporadic and may be interspersed with stretches of unemployment. The transformation of work may also affect the extent to which people can reconcile their work and private lives.

The transformation of work is linked to the rapid advancement of technology, because technology influences the interactions between organisations and consumers as well as the ways of working.

Active individuals

Human wellbeing is influenced by a sense of inclusion, meaning and belonging. Many people are increasingly active in seeking opportunities to participate in society and make a difference, for example through social media and digital services.

Ensuring everyone’s inclusion and ability to work and function will safeguard a stable and sustainable society.

Our welfare society is based on understanding people’s individual needs and responding to these using modern tools.

Advancements such as artificial intelligence, precision medicine and social innovations may revolutionise the health and social care sector in the same way as antibiotics or imaging techniques once did. These will make it easier to identify individual needs while enhancing the efficiency of diagnostics, service choices, pharmaceutical development, and self-care.

Further information

Riikka Pellikka, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Strategic and Financial Management Unit / STAR, Strategy Group / STRA Telephone:0295163659   Email Address: