Health Care System in Finland

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Health Care System – Finland

Background information:

- About 18.9% of health care is funded directly by households and 76.6% by taxation.

- According the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, "Finland used the least resources and attained average results, making Finland the most efficient public sector health service producer according to the study's author”1

Where do financial resources come from?

- Employers and employees contribute directly to the National Health Care through their salaries.

- Employers and employees contribute also through their overall tax payment; both to the federal and the local government (municipalities).

- Municipalities are responsible for providing Health Care Centers and Hospitals from the taxes they collect (using also subsidies from the federal government) – Including Pharmacies.

- When actually using the services at the Health Center, patients do pay further, even though they have also contributed already through the above mentioned means. The fees for using the services are also subsidized by the government, where further special rules and benefits apply.

- Alternatively, companies and individuals have access to private Health Care service – Including Pharmacies.

The Health Care System in practice

Availability: The service is available to all registered residents of Finland. Residents of Helsinki municipally should visit their local Health Care Center (HCC) when in need, but are also entitled to attend other HCC’s through the country.

KELA Card: Residents in Finland use the KELA card which indicates a resident’s eligibility for social security. New comers should apply for it as soon as they are eligible.

Internet: http://www.hel.fi/hki/terke/en/Etusivun

Services listed on the website are summarized as follows:

- Accident and emergency Services

- Instructions for treatment

- Contact information

- Patient Fees

- Decision Making

- About the Health Care Centrers

- Feedback

In general de information is very well detailed in three Languages, Finnish, English and Swedish. The Health Care website seems to be very informative and thorough.

Important notes:

- Emergency services are also available for citizens of another EU country on the same terms as for Finns.

- Expectant mothers are examined at regular intervals at maternity clinics and child health clinics care for children until they enter school. School-aged children and students are cared for by public health nurses and physicians. 

- Dental care is also available within the municipal health care system, either at City dental clinics or at private clinics on the same basis as at City clinics. 

Information systems and technology

Telephone: Over the phone on (09) 10023 for information about illnesses and health care services, reachable 24 hours every day of the year. Note there is no cost for this service except for the actual phone call regular cost.

Other important numbers:

- Dial 118 for information about the local HCC.

- Dial 112 for emergencies – people are accepted into the hospitals directly when it is an emergency.

Website and e-services:

With Dental Care eServices beneficiaries can:
• see scheduled appointments
• confirm, cancel or postpone appointments
• see information about placements in the dental care queue or remove themselves from the queue • update contact information
• transact for a child or an old person

Notes:
The first appointment for dental care must always be made by phone. Target group: Residents of Helsinki
The service is provided by: City of Helsinki Health Centre

Internal Filing System

Today, most of the file keeping at the Health Care Centers throughout Finland is done on paper. It is clear that the system is old and causes shortcomings in the communication flow. The government has now a...
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