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Client care plan

Your attending physician, social worker or other professional will first assess the types of services that you will require. After this, you will be provided with a client care plan, which includes details of all the services that you require and how these will be carried out in practical terms.

The purpose of your client care plan is to ensure that you will receive all the services that you require at the right time. You will have a chance to participate in drawing up the plan.

Health and social services voucher

You may receive a voucher for certain health and social services once a physician, a social worker or some other professional has assessed the types of services that you will require. If you require cataract surgery or some other type of non-urgent surgery, for example, you may receive a services voucher for such surgery, allowing you to choose where the procedure will be performed. The purpose of a health and social services voucher is to ensure that you will receive treatment as soon as possible.

You may also use a services voucher for physiotherapy, home care or rehabilitation, to name but a few examples. When you are referred to physiotherapy, you will receive treatment matching the value of your services voucher from your chosen physiotherapist.

Health and social services vouchers will be granted by counties, and they will work in the same way as the service vouchers currently granted by local authorities. Moving forward, health and social services vouchers will replace municipal service vouchers, which will no longer be available.

Personal budget

If you require multiple services for an extended period of time, you may receive a personal budget for obtaining services. Typically, such budgets are available for services intended for elderly or disabled people.

You may be granted a personal budget once your service needs have been assessed by a physician, a social worker or some other professional. The types of services that you require will be included in your client care plan. After this, a certain amount of euros will be credited to your personal budget, which you can use to purchase services. However, you will not receive any money in your bank account; instead, your county will pay the service provider – which may be a business or a non-governmental organisation (NGO), etc. – directly for the services that you use.

You can decide for yourself where to purchase the services included in your client care plan. You will also have a say about the content of these services. This will ensure that you will receive services that meet your specific needs. By way of example, you can use your personal budget to cover housing services or a personal assistant.

Municipality (local authority)

As a result of the health and social services reform, the responsibility for organising health and social services will be reassigned from municipalities to new regional governments known as counties.

Moving forward, however, local authorities will still be responsible for many other aspects in your everyday life, such as schools and daycare centres, libraries and cultural services, sports facilities, youth work, road maintenance, waste management and environmental protection.

County

Counties constitute a new intermediate level of self-government to be established between local and central government levels, with decision-makers to be elected in county elections. Moving forward, a total of 18 counties will assume responsibility for aspects such as health and social services for their respective residents. They are scheduled to start operations on 1 January 2020. The forthcoming counties will have more or less the same borders as the current regions.

View a list of the new counties and read more here.

Service provider

A service provider is a body that will provide you with healthcare and social welfare services and care in practice. Service providers will operate health and social services centres, dental clinics, etc.

In other words, when you choose which health and social services centre to visit or where to spend your services voucher, you will be specifically choosing your own service provider. A service provider may be a private or a public body. NGOs may also operate as service providers.

Health and social services

Health and social services’ is a concept used to refer to those services that you receive in support of your health and wellbeing. Such services include:

  • healthcare;
  • hospital services;
  • dental care;
  • mental health and substance abuse services;
  • maternity and child welfare clinics;
  • adult social work;
  • child protection;
  • services for disabled people;
  • housing services for elderly people;
  • home care;
  • rehabilitation.

Moving forward, your own home county will be responsible for ensuring that you can access these services whenever you require them.

Health and social services centre

A health and social services centre – i.e. an HSS centre – is a place where you will receive the most common health services and advice on social services. You will go to a health and social services centre for reasons such as a prolonged cold or a sprained ankle.

In other words, HSS centres are similar to the current health centres in many respects. The services provided by HSS centres include medical check-ups, general practitioners’ surgeries, social services counselling, etc.

You can choose for yourself which health and social services centre to visit. An HSS centre may be operated by a private or a public body.

Oral health unit

An oral health unit is often referred to as a ‘dental clinic’ or ‘the dentist’s’. This is where you will receive basic oral health services, such as dental inspections and filling of cavities.

You can choose for yourself which dental clinic – i.e. oral health unit – to visit. A dental clinic may be operated by a private or a public body.

E-services

In the future, various e-services, i.e. electronic or digital services, will facilitate your everyday life and help you look after your health and wellbeing. Even now, you can already view your data on the My Kanta Pages service, where your patient data is recorded. You may also get a referral to Mental Hub, where you can have online therapy. Online appointment systems are also becoming more common.

Moving forward, more and more e-services will be available to make your life easier. You won’t necessarily have to travel long distances to see a doctor when you can have a consultation online. New electronic means are also important for the professionals caring for you.

Another essential feature is the fact that you will only be asked to provide the same details once, and your data will be transferred securely and reliably between the professionals involved in your care.

Freedom of choice

In the future, you will have wider rights to choose where to get your health and social services – in other words, where you go to see a doctor, for example. This means that you will be able to have more say about your own services.

The purpose of freedom of choice is to ensure that you will get treatment without long waiting periods. You can choose either a public or a private service, or you may choose to use services provided by an NGO, etc. All of these will charge clients the same rates for any services financed by public funds.

In practical terms, freedom of choice means that you will be able to choose for yourself which health and social services centre and dental clinic to visit. A health and social services centre will be more or less similar to a current health centre. In other words, this is where you will receive the most common health services and advice on social services as required. You may also be granted a health and social services voucher or a personal budget.

Freedom of choice is scheduled to be phased in throughout Finland by 2022. It is already being piloted in some areas, with more trials on the way. You will receive information about your options to choose when the topic becomes relevant.

Read more about freedom of choice here.