Wellbeing services counties will be responsible for organising health, social and rescue services on 1 January 2023

The responsibility for organising healthcare, social welfare and rescue services was transferred from municipalities and joint municipal authorities to wellbeing services counties on 1 January 2023.

There are 21 wellbeing services counties, and the division into counties is mainly based on the division into regions. The region of Uusimaa is divided into four wellbeing services counties. The City of Helsinki will continue to be responsible for organising health, social and rescue services. The HUS Group will be responsible for demanding specialised healthcare duties separately laid down by law.

  • Wellbeing services counties and their municipalities on the map

The wellbeing services counties were established under the reform of healthcare, social welfare and rescue services, which is one of the most significant administrative reforms in Finnish history. The reform is necessary to ensure equal services, reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing and curb the growth in costs.

The wellbeing services counties are self-governing. Their funding is based on central government funding, and they do not, as of yet, have the right to levy taxes. Differences in the service needs of the counties are taken into account when determining funding. 

Duties of wellbeing services counties

The duties of the wellbeing services counties include:

  • Primary healthcare
  • Specialised healthcare
  • Social welfare
  • Services for children, young people and families
  • Services for working-age people
  • Mental health and substance abuse services
  • Services for persons with disabilities
  • Student welfare
  • Rescue services
  • Prehospital emergency medical services

Cooperation between the wellbeing services counties and the municipalities will focus on promoting health and wellbeing, thus reducing the need for healthcare and social welfare services. In addition, private operators along with organisations and associations will supplement public health and social services. The municipalities will remain responsible for child daycare, education, sports and culture, for example.

County elections and decision-making

Each wellbeing services county has a county council responsible for the county’s activities and finances. County councillors are elected in county elections held in each wellbeing services county. The next county elections will be held in 2025.
Each wellbeing services county also has three bodies through which residents can exert influence: youth council, council for older people, and disability council. County residents may also exert influence by submitting initiatives.

Glossaries: Terminology related to wellbeing services counties

For more information on the services of the wellbeing services counties, please visit the website of your county.

Further information

Kari Hakari, Director General 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Steering of Healthcare and Social Welfare / OHO 0295163642