Finland should not rush into decisions on the social, health care and regional government reform due to financial reasons, stresses Sari Essayah, the chairperson of the Christian Democrats.
“Studies show that Finland ranks first among 36 European countries in terms of the cost-efficiency and sixth in terms of the quality of hospital care. We’re about to ‘fix’ our number one spot with measures that led to an increase in health care costs and reduced access to health care in Sweden,” she said in a speech in Lapinlahti, Northern Savonia, on May Day.
“We shouldn’t rush to undermine Finland's number one spot,” she stressed.
Finland, she added, must pull together to ensure the major reforms are as broad-based as possible.
“We don’t have to agree on everything, but we should seek as broad-based solutions as possible when it comes to major reforms. The social and health care reform is certainly one example, as it seeks to outline how social and health care services are organised in the decades to come,” explained Essayah.
She also warned that the current reform bill would likely create unexpected cost pressures that have not been taken into consideration.
“Discontinuing Kela’s reimbursements will bring high-income earners under the system's scope, wage harmonisation may create billions of euros in costs and a new level of bureaucracy will be established in the counties, which won’t be cheap,” she said.
The 18 counties to be established in the social, health care and regional government reform, meanwhile, are at risk of losing funding and, consequently, having to generate cost savings by either reducing services or raising customer fees.
“Who has the wisdom to set the capitation reimbursements to the right level so that the outcome is not that those in good health are over-treated and those in bad health are under-treated?” she asked.
Essayah also expressed her doubts about the feasibility of organising the first county elections in October, 2018.
In spite of her concerns about the massive reform, she refrained from announcing whether she will support or oppose the reform bill once it is presented to the Parliament.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) stated to Ilkka and Pohjalainen a week ago that he intends to ask the opposition parties for support in pushing the social, health care and regional government reform over the finish line. Anna-Maja Henriksson, the chairperson of the Swedish People’s Party, told Ilta-Sanomat that the party is not prepared to support the reform.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi