Service voucher experiment

Service vouchers give freedom of choice

The service voucher examine ended in October 2019. The experiment investigated the effects of clients’ freedom of choice on access to health and social services and on their quality. Another objective was to find out how different service pricing and reimbursement models affect the total expenditure on health and social services.

The experiments were implemented on the basis of the existing Service Voucher and the Act on Client Fees in Social Welfare and Health Care.

The experiments focused on examining the impacts of freedom of choice on clients, the service organiser’s role, service providers, service integration and changes in the services market. They also produced information for the development of ITC solutions supporting the freedom of choice model.

Freedom of choice means that clients can choose between public, private or third sector service providers. The goal is to find an economically appropriate model that allows equal access to care and services and client involvement and that stimulates improvements in service provision.

There were altogether ten regional experiments. The participating regions and areas were South Karelia, Vaasa, Hämeenlinna, Ylä-Savo, Jyväskylä, Kainuu, Päijät-Häme, North Karelia, Tampere and Keski-Usimaa.

There were three options for piloting clients’ freedom of choice: direct-choice reception services in health and social services centres, direct-choice oral health services, and personal budget.


Vuokko Lehtimäki, Project Manager, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163256, [email protected]



Vuokko Lehtimäki, erityisasiantuntija 
sosiaali- ja terveysministeriö, Sosiaali- ja terveydenhuollon ohjausosasto / OHO, Palvelujen ohjausyksikkö / OHJA 0295163256