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Physicians no longer required to submit communicable disease notifications of COVID-19 infections

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 20.1.2022 13.33
Press release 16/2022

The Government has amended the Decree on Communicable Diseases in respect of notifications to be submitted to the communicable diseases register maintained by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. From now on, physicians will not be required to submit communicable disease notifications of severe infections caused by the novel coronavirus.

The amended decree will enter into force on 21 January 2022.

Physicians and dentists must submit a communicable disease notification concerning generally hazardous and monitored communicable diseases. The combining of different registers and the data collected in this way have, however, made it possible that physicians will no longer need to submit communicable disease notifications of COVID-19 infections. The amendment will only apply to a severe form of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, not to the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-1 or MERS virus.

The data provided in a communicable disease notification by a physician can now be obtained by combining data on a positive laboratory-confirmed test recorded in the communicable diseases register with other data stored in the databases of the Hilmo, Avohilmo and Terhikki registers and the Population Information System. Such information includes the underlying health conditions, healthcare employee status, possible hospital care, intensive care, pregnancy and death.

The amendment to the Decree aims to reduce the strain that submitting communicable diseases notifications of COVID-19 infections puts on the communicable diseases units of municipalities and hospital districts without compromising the collection of information necessary for maintaining a situational picture.

Inquiries:

Liisa Katajamäki, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] +358 295 163 329, [email protected]
Anni-Riitta Virolainen-Julkunen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Medical Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 395 163 324, [email protected]

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