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Party leaders participating in the government formation talks decide on how to proceed with the health and social services reform

Government Communications Department 23.5.2019 14.10 | Published in English on 23.5.2019 at 15.47
Press release 262/2019

The health and social services reform transfers the responsibility for organising health and social services to self-governing regions that are larger than municipalities. In total, there will be 18 autonomous counties. Provisions on the functioning, finances and governance of the counties will be laid down by a separate act. Decision-making power in the regions will rest with directly elected councillors. Rescue operations and prehospital care will be among the tasks to be transferred to counties in the first phase.

The public sector will be the primary service provider in the counties, with the private and third sectors serving as supplementary producers of the services. With respect to municipalities, this will be resolved on the basis of a separate analysis by the end of 2019.

By the end of the year, the Government will also conduct a study on special arrangements for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area or Capital Region, in cooperation with the cities and municipalities located in the area.

As separate issues, a parliamentary committee will conduct preparatory work regarding the right of counties to collect taxes and dismantling of multisource financing by the end of 2020.

Other duties of the counties

Autonomous regions will enable a gradual transition to multi-sectoral counties. This will be prepared in a parliamentary process by the end 2020. A study will be conducted on the duties of municipalities, joint municipal authorities and the state that will be transferred to counties. The Government will prepare the necessary legislation after the parliamentary work has been completed.