The social and health care reform would have prevented what is set to be the largest outsourcing of health care services in Finland, views Sari Sarkomaa (NCP), a member of the Parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee.
Sarkomaa is referring to a decision made by four municipalities to outsource the operations of the Central Hospital of Länsi-Pohja in Kemi to Mehiläinen, a leading private medical care provider in Finland.
“This is clearly indicative of how bad it is for the development of our social and health care services that the care reform was delayed and neglected by the previous governments,” she says to Uusi Suomi.
The four municipalities – Kemi, Keminmaa, Simo and Tornio – on Monday announced they have decided to establish a joint venture with the private medical care provider in a bid to secure the operations of the Central Hospital of Länsi-Pohja. The municipalities have been concerned that the social, health care and regional government reform would lead to the services being relocated to Rovaniemi.
Kemi was the last of the four municipalities to approve the outsourcing, its municipal council voting 22 for and 21 against the proposal on Monday.
The joint venture is also set to provide special health care services for the municipalities of Tervola and Ylitornio.
Talouselämä has reported that the computational value of the outsourcing agreement rises to over 1.1 billion euros as the joint venture would be responsible for providing health care services in the region until 2032.
The term of the agreement, in particular, has aroused concerns among policy makers, including Annika Saarikko (Centre), the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services.
“I’m very concerned about this,” she stated to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday. “The municipalities are about to tie themselves to a 15-year contract with very strict grounds for termination. It’ll be a very difficult situation for the county to be established, if one side of the county is locked to the current situation.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Panu Pohjola – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi