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Rights of clients and patients to be strengthened through long-term development of legislation and practices

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 1.6.2021 14.36 | Published in English on 1.6.2021 at 15.24
Press release 151/2021

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is continuing to prepare legislation on the self-determination of clients and patients. A roadmap extending beyond the term of the current Government will also be drawn up to strengthen client and patient participation and rights, and a broad-based monitoring group will be appointed to support this work.

The reform seeks to amend legislation in order to realise the self-determination of clients and patients. Practices are also being developed to increase client and patient participation and reduce the use of restrictive measures.

Legislation will be reformed in stages

The work of preparing this legislation will be done in stages due to the breadth of its subject matter.

The first stage will be a reform of legal remedies for involuntary medication in psychiatric care. The outdated Act on Welfare for Substance Abusers will also be repealed and its current regulation governing involuntary care will be updated, and the autonomy regulation of the Act on Special Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities will be included in relevant statutes.

The intention is to submit a Government bill on the first stage of amendments to Parliament in summer 2022.

Roadmap for strengthening client and patient rights

Legislative reforms and enhancement of practices will continue in future government terms. A roadmap will be drawn up in support of the reform to guide work over the long term and over several terms of government.

The intention is to appoint a broad-based monitoring group during the summer to assist in preparing the reform.


Kirsi Ruuhonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 29 516 3239
Maija Miettinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 29 516 3452