About the reform

The health and social services reform aims to reshape the structures and services in healthcare and social welfare.  Its objective is to reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing, improve the equality of services and the access to services as well as to curb costs. 

The reform means that:

  • Responsibility for the organisation of health and social services will be transferred from local authorities and joint municipal authorities to the 18 counties on 1 January 2021. The counties are bigger entities and have better resource capacity. They will organise services in ways that are most appropriate for the region’s population as a whole.
  • Health and social services will be integrated at all levels to form client-oriented entities. Services must be organised so that they are timely, effective and efficient. Another goal is to safeguard the availability of locally accessible services.
  • Multisource financing of healthcare and social welfare will be made simpler
  • People will have more freedom of choice. Freedom of choice will be a key method to improve the availability of primary services.
  • There will be more digital services, and information will flow more smoothly between service providers.
  • The reform will help bridge a large part of the sustainability gap in general government finances. The Government aims to save EUR 10 billion, and the health and social services reform is expected to cover approximately EUR 3 billion of this sum.
  • Besides structural and financial reforms, the steering and operating models in healthcare and social welfare will be thoroughly modernised. The aim is to achieve better services that are not only more client-oriented, effective and cost-efficient than before but also better coordinated.


Kirsi Varhila, Director-General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 338