Services by unincorporated county enterprises
The contents of this article are subject to change due to the government proposal on 8 March 2018. This article will be updated as soon as possible.
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.
Counties may have their own health and social services centres and oral health services units
According to a government proposal, the residents of a county shall receive certain basic public services from a health and social services centre. An unincorporated county enterprise may have its own health and social services centres that provide these services. An unincorporated county enterprise may also have its own oral health services units. A county may also incorporate its health and social services centre or oral health services unit, in which case these will not be part of the unincorporated enterprise.
Unincorporated county enterprises are responsible for hospitals and social welfare
In addition to basic public services, unincorporated county enterprises provide other healthcare services and social services. These include specialised medical care in hospitals, services of family centres, school healthcare and home care.
Unincorporated county enterprises are organisations owned by counties engaged in business activity and part of a county’s public authorities. The enterprise is responsible for the use of public authority required by the services it provides. It can make official decisions, for instance. The enterprise is also responsible for providing the county with expert advice in managing the tasks that belong to the county.
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:
Pirjo Kainulainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 092
Kirsi Varhila, Director-General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 338