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Services by unincorporated county enterprises

The contents of this article are subject to change due to the freedom of choice model. The Government will give a new proposal for the Freedom of Choice Act in spring 2018.

A county has the responsibility to provide health and social services so as to safeguard adequate access to the services and their economic feasibility.  The responsibility for the provision of the services is vested in an unincorporated county enterprise. 

The model for freedom of choice, issued by the Government on 9 May, will not be advanced in its present form. For that reason, it is possible that there will be changes to the forthcoming presentation of the unincorporated county enterprises’ activities. According to the government proposal of 9 May 2017, a health and social services centre will provide the county’s residents with certain basic services. Other health and social services will be available from units maintained by an unincorporated county enterprise. Such a unit may consist of a social services clinic, a hospital, a family centre, or a unit providing services for older people.

Clients may choose between the unincorporated county enterprise’s units

Clients may contact the unincorporated county enterprise’s units directly. Non-urgent hospital care is an exception and requires a referral from a doctor.

Some clients need a wide array of health and social services. In such cases, the unincorporated county enterprise’s unit assesses the client’s need for services and draws up a client care plan. The plan lists all services agreed to the client.

The client will have access to the services directly at the unincorporated county enterprise’s unit. Alternatively, the client can receive a health and social services voucher or a personal budget to buy the necessary services. This requires that there is a sufficient number of service providers in the area from which to choose. By doing so, it is possible to buy, for example, home care services from a company of one’s own choice.

Unincorporated county enterprise safeguards access to services in remote areas

An unincorporated county enterprise provides the residents with all health and social services centre and dental care services if they are not otherwise available. This may be the case in sparsely populated areas which do not have private health and social services centres and dental clinics.

School health services and student healthcare and related dental care fall within the counties’ responsibilities. Pupils and students do not have freedom of choice. Constant and long-term home care for older people is also to be provided by unincorporated county enterprises.  Municipalities would be left with the organisation of the services of school psychologists and school social workers as part of student welfare services.

Unincorporated county enterprises’ experts support health and social services centres

According to the government proposal issued on 9 May, an unincorporated county enterprise may provide the services under its responsibility in connection with health and social services centres, as decided by the county.  An employee of an unincorporated county enterprise may work at a health and social services centre’s unit or move across the county.   Services may be provided as e-services or in other ways applicable to the service in question.

An unincorporated county enterprise may have a multi-professional group with activities in the county’s health and social services centres. Such groups provide consultation services relating to social welfare.

An unincorporated county enterprise is a business organisation owned by a county. Unincorporated county enterprises make part of a county’s public authorities. An unincorporated county enterprise is responsible for the exercise of public powers as concerns its provision of services. It can make, for example, official decisions.  Unincorporated county enterprises have the responsibility to provide expert assistance to counties in the managing of their tasks.

Pursuant to the model for freedom of choice issued by the Government on 9 May 2017:

 

Inquiries:

Pirjo Kainulainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 092
Pekka Järvinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel.  +358 295 163 367
Kirsi Varhila, Director-General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 338