Primary healthcare

Health and social services centres are the nearest and most familiar care facilities to residents, providing many of the healthcare services organised by the wellbeing services counties.

Health and social services centres provide especially primary healthcare services and closely related social services guidance and counselling. In addition to these, health and social services centres monitor and promote the population’s health.

The services usually provided by the centres include:

  • Monitoring of the population's helath
  • Health counselling, including health education and contraception advice
  • Maternity and child health clinic services
  • School and student healthcare
  • Screening for specified diseases and vaccinations against infectious diseases
  • Oral healthcare
  • Mental health and substance abuse services
  • Appointments with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • First aid and urgent care
  • Inpatient care for those requiring hospital care
  • Home care services

Consultations of medical specialists are increasingly prevalent in primary helathcare.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for developing legislation on primary healthcare.

Wellbeing services counties may organise primary healthcare services themselves or together with other wellbeing services counties, or they may purchase them from the private sector. In defined medical conditions, patients may also use service vouchers to purchase services from private healthcare providers, according to their own preference.

The Act on Client Charges in Healthcare and Social Welfare regulates fees for all public healthcare services.

Other agencies

Agencies which deal with the development, administration and supervision of primary health care services include:

Further information

Tapani Hämäläinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Medical Affairs 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Clients and Services in Healthcare and Social Welfare / APO, Service System Unit / PAL Telephone:0295163065   Email Address: