In this international seminar, Minna-Liisa Luoma (THL – Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) will provide an overview of the Finnish social and healthcare reform, before presenting some first results from its evaluation.
In June 2022, the Finnish parliament approved the legislation on the financial model of the social and healthcare reform, before the reform became fully effective on 1 January 2023. The Finnish government has since finalised its largest ever social and healthcare reform (Sote), which transferred responsibilities for health, social and rescue services from 309 municipalities to 22 larger organisers (21 welfare counties and the city of Helsinki).
The overarching goals of this reform are to strengthen the financial basis of service delivery, to guarantee equal access to health and social services as well as to reduce inequalities in health and well-being. The public administration is organised at three levels: state, counties and municipalities. Municipalities and counties are jointly responsible for promoting public health. Rescue services are organised alongside healthcare and social welfare services.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for monitoring social and healthcare services, whereas the rescue services are under the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of Finance supervises and monitors the finances of the counties. The Finnish Institute for health and welfare evaluates the reform. The first national expert assessment on the organisation of healthcare and social welfare in Finland was published in October 2023.
Minna-Liisa Luoma, PhD in Psychology (1996), is Associate Professor at the University of Jyväskylä (2016). She is appointed Chief Specialist on ageing at the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Her key responsibilities are the promotion of and services for the welfare, health, and functional capacity of older people, supervising in ageing policy as well as ageing services and elderly abuse research and disability issues. She has worked with international collaborative projects for more than 15 years, including several studies in the Nordic countries (Nordic Research funds) and in other European countries (funded by the European Union). Her main research focus has been quality of life among patients with cancer and elderly, end of life care, palliative care, functional capacity of older people, age technology, elder abuse, violence against people with disabilities as well as elderly and disability services. She is a Member of Council for Choices in Health Care in Finland (COHERE Finland), the deputy head of the advisory board for the elderly and pensioners, a Member in the General Assembly, the Joint Programme Initiative More Years Better Lives, and a co-opted Member of the Board of Directors at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.