Finnish government agrees to push back social and health care reform

The Finnish government has decided to postpone the implementation of both the reform of regional administration and the reform of social and health care services in order to address the flaws in its bill to expand patients’ rights to choose their social and health care service provider.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) on Wednesday confirmed that minor revisions will not suffice to alleviate the concerns of the Parliament’s Constitutional Law Committee - informed helsinkitimes.

The government, he announced, will consequently unveil an entirely new bill on patients’ freedom of choice in the first half of next year and will assuredly take both reforms over the finish line.

“The necessary amendments will be made, and the [social and health care] reform will be implemented on 1 January, 2020. The regional elections [will take place] in October, 2018,” he stated on Twitter on Wednesday.

The Constitutional Law Committee issued its damning report on the bill to expand patients’ rights to choose their social and health care service provider on 29 June, 2017.

The Finnish government initially reacted to the report by assuring that the constitutional shortcomings will not result in delays in the implementation of the reforms. The original plan was to organise the regional elections in January, 2018, and implement the social and health care reform in January, 2019.

Sipilä, however, conceded one day later that the bill requires more attention than was apparent upon a cursory review.

Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, also confirmed the revised schedule yesterday and reminded that high-quality legislative work will be crucial for implementing the reforms successfully.

The Constitutional Law Committee also floated in its report the idea of allowing large municipalities to produce social and health care services independently instead of transferring the responsibility to the counties that are to be established as part of the regional administration reform. The Centre, which has been the main advocate of establishing the 18 autonomous counties, has already voiced its reservations about the proposal.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva

Read other news on the city site of Helsinki.

PrimeMinisterJuhaSipilä Helsinki ConstitutionalLawCommittee
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Alexander Stubb (NCP), a vice-president at the European Investment Bank (EIB), has hinted at the possibility of returning to politics after losing the race to become the lead candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) to Manfred Weber of Germany. Stubb received more votes than expected but lost to his rival candidate by a clear vote of 127 to 492 at EPP Congress Helsinki on Thursday. “I got a very good feeling [from the campaign], I must admit,” the fo...
The Finnish government will introduce no amendments to legislation on patient data during this electoral term, assures Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services. Saarikko and Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, have participated actively in public debate concerning a legislative proposal that, according to Helsingin Sanomat, has been drafted in secrecy and would grant police significantly wider access to sensitive pa...
School groups could in the future use public transport services in the Helsinki region free of charge when travelling with a teacher, according to a decision made by the Executive Board of Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) on 30 October 2018. The final decision on transport charges, including tickets for school groups, will be made by the HSL General Meeting on 27 November.  From the beginning of 2019 onwards, municipal school administrations would no longer...
Finland has dropped to eighth in the world in the latest version of a ranking of countries according to their English language skills. Finns are now the worst English-speakers in the Nordic countries, according to the EF English Proficiency Index. The 2018 version of the ranking puts Finland in eighth spot, with western neighbour Sweden topping the comparison. This year’s result is the weakest Finland has achieved in the ranking, which has been published e...
The theme of next month's Independence Day ball at Helsinki's Presidential Palace will be climate change and environmental issues. The theme of this year's Independence Day reception will be climate change and the environment, according to the Office of the President of the Republic. Finland's most exclusive social occasion is just one month away, and the Office of the President has started sending invitations to some 1,700 guests for an evening that tradi...
The day's papers report on unsolved thefts, free head lice medicine for families and Angela Merkel's visit to Helsinki. Daily Helsingin Sanomat reports that most larcenies go unsolved in Finland. According to statistics by the Police University College, police were able to clear 3,150 offences between January and September of this year, while about 41,500 remain unsolved. In 80 smaller municipalities, especially in Lapland and Åland, the police did not sol...
Finland's Tax Administration reports that 15,000 more eligible taxpayers declared no taxable income in the last two years, putting the total past 160,000 in 2017. The number of eligible taxpayers who reported no taxable income in Finland has risen by 15,000 in the last two years to a total of 161,000 in 2017. "Most of the people declaring no taxable income are...
Women in their 60s move more than men of the same age when it comes to occupational and leisure-time physical activities, according to a new study from the University of Turku in southwest Finland. "Gender differences during the workday are partially explained by the varying work patterns and the physical activity associated with women having longer commutes to work. Women of this generation also tend to do more housework than men, and measuring devices wo...
Opponents of Britain's withdrawal from the EU are calling more loudly for another referendum on Brexit. Seven of Finland's 13 MEPs think a second vote is likely. Over half of Finland's 13 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) say they believe that a second British referendum on Brexit will become a reality. The National Coalition Party's Sirpa Pietikäinen, Henna Virkkunen, Petri Sarvamaa, the Centre Party's Elsi Katainen, the Greens' Heidi Hautala, the...