Finns are largely unsupportive of the social, health care and regional government reform, finds a survey by Alma Media.
Alma Media on Friday reported that fewer than a fifth (18%) of the survey respondents are supportive and almost a half (48%) unsupportive of the massive, long-discussed reform. Slightly over a third (34%) of the 3,400 people surveyed stated that they are unable to comment on the issue.
The survey was conducted between 18 May and 4 June.
Markku Jokisipilä, the director of the Centre for Parliamentary Studies at the University of Turku, says he is not surprised by the survey results.
“The preparatory work and contents of the legislative package have been called into question repeatedly. The Constitutional Law Committee's observations have had an effect on people. Expert statements that are supportive of the reform have been few and far between,” he explains.
Ville Pitkänen, a researcher at Think Tank E2, estimates that the results are also an indication of how difficult the massive reform is to understand.
“We’re talking about a very complicated reform package, the details of which are unusually difficult to keep track of. The predictions about its effects have also varied,” highlighted Pitkänen.
There has been considerable uncertainty particularly when it comes to the impact of increasing patients’ freedom to choose their service provider on the cost and accessibility of social and health care services. Some of the pilot projects designed to determine how the freedom of choice functions in practice have yet to be completed, while others have yet to even be launched.
The objective of the social and health care reform is to generate cost savings of three billion euros by 2030.
The savings are another major question mark, however.
The Economic Policy Council, an independent council evaluating the objectives and effectiveness of economic policy measures, recently expressed its doubts about the cost impacts laid out in a memo published a few weeks ago by Martti Hetemäki, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance. Hetemäki estimated in his memo that the reform has a savings potential of up to 4.6 billion euros.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi