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Role of third-sector organisations in the regional government, health and social services model

The ongoing regional government, health and social services reform wants to secure the operating conditions of non-profit organisations.  Third-sector actors will have an important role in providing health and social services and in promoting wellbeing and health in the new counties.

According to the freedom-of-choice model proposed by the Government, third-sector organisations could operate as non-profit actors for public benefit or as service providers, or both. The organisations will be well placed to provide health and social services to be delivered against services vouchers or personal budgets.

Third-sector organisations and communities will have versatile possibilities to operate in accordance with their own goals, provided that their service provision and activities for public benefit are kept separate. Third-sector organisations would have no obligation of incorporation but their service provision and non-profit activities must be carried out in separate associations, foundations or companies. Only non-profit activities could be granted public support.

In future, an Act on Organising Health and Social Services and a Counties Act would not restrict or prevent third-sector organisations' activities in any region.

Counties will have a cooperation obligation

A county would have to set goals for the promotion of wellbeing and health in their planning. The county must ensure that representatives of third-sector organisations can participate in the planning. A county must also collaborate with the municipalities in its area and support them in the promotion of wellbeing and health through its expertise.

Third-sector organisations have an important role in the promotion of wellbeing and health in the new counties and municipalities. The organisations' non-profit work for public benefit and peer support activities should be included in counties statutory strategies and public service pledges.

Municipalities will be able to manage grants awarded to third-sector organisations in the future too.  Counties and municipalities can conclude agreements to ensure that third-sector organisations will be able to use service provider's facilities for non-profit activities.

Inquiries

Sarita Friman-Korpela, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 349
Laura Niinimaa, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 007