Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s (Centre) proposal to establish a total of 18 counties as part of the social, health care and regional government reform is not in the best interests of the residents of Uusimaa, according to the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.
The regional councillors voted 57–12 in favour of issuing a critical statement on the reform on Tuesday.
“The newly proposed social and health care reform appears to have lost track of its original, important objectives,” summarised Maria Ohisalo, a deputy chairperson of the Green League and member of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.
Uusimaa and its 1.7 million residents account for roughly 40 per cent of the gross domestic product of Finland, the councillors highlighted. The counties that will be established to take over the responsibility for organising social and health care services, however, will slow down the growth of the burgeoning region.
“Creating the county would present great operational and financial challenges, as well as increase bureaucracy. This proposal would result in a complex and difficult-to-control social and health care reform. A third of the targeted spending cuts would be assigned to the growing Uusimaa,” the stated in a press release.
Björn Månsson (SFP), a councillor for the City of Helsinki, conceded that the statement issued by him and his fellow councillors is an exceptional measure but estimated that the situation is “very critical” for Uusimaa.
“The entire council has pretty much been a rubber stamp. We’ll now take the power back,” he commented.
“The intention is not to sabotage the entire social and health care reform. We’re drawing attention to the special circumstances and needs of Uusimaa.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi