On 21 December 2016, the Government published a draft of the legislation detailing how clients will be able to select from among the health and social services that are within the scope of freedom of choice. Additionally, the Government published changes made to the Health, Social Service and Regional Government bill.

The most important acts within the reform are the Countries Act, the Act on Organising Health and Social Services, the Implementation Act and the Act of Financing of the Counties. The legislative package was published now in the spirit of open bill drafting, and the finalised government proposal is due to be submitted to Parliament in January 2017.

The bill concerning a client's freedom of choice will be finalised and translated into Swedish. The bill will then be circulated for comments in early 2017.

The aim is that the Act on Organising Health and Social Services, the Counties Act and the Act on the Financing of the Counties will enter into force on 1 July 2017. After that, provisional governance is able to start preparing future activities.

According to the Government's policy line, the first county council elections will be held in connection with the first round of the presidential election in January 2018.  The term of the county councils will begin on 1 March 2018. The new counties will begin operating on 1 January 2019.

Counties' other duties

 A legislative proposal on counties' other duties will be circulated for comments in early 2017. The Ministry of Finance will prepare the proposal.


Tuomas Pöysti, Project Manager, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 63012.