Primary health care

Municipalities are responsible for organizing primary health care for their residents. There are some 150 health centres providing primary health care.The contents of primary health care services are defined by law and they include:

  • Monitoring the health of the population
  • Health counselling, including health education and contraception advice
  • Maternity and child welfare clinics
  • School and student health care
  • Screening for specified diseases and vaccinations against infectious diseases
  • Oral health services
  • Mental health care and substance abuse services
  • Medical doctors’ and other health care professionals’ appointments
  • Emergency and treatment for accidents
  • In-patient care for patients for those patients who require nursing
  • Home care services

Consultations of medical specialists for primary health care are being increasingly prevalent.

The MSAH is responsible for developing legislation regarding primary health care.

Municipalities may organise primary health care services alone or in collaboration with other municipalities, or they may procure them from the private sector. In defined medical conditions, patients may also use service vouchers to procure services from private health care providers, according to their own preference.

The law on client fees regulates fees for all municipal health care 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 0295163065