The Finnish criminal code could already provide the means to penalise elderly care providers guilty of negligence, views Antti Häkkänen (NCP), the Minister of Justice. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

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ELDERLY CARE PROVIDERS must be subjected to both closer supervision and stiffer sanctions in the event of negligences, views Antti Häkkänen (NCP), the Minister of Justice.

Häkkänen says the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health should draw up a comprehensive action plan to address problems in elderly care by, for instance, raising the number of nurses, toughening up regulation and encouraging municipal decision makers to take greater responsibility for the quality of elderly services.

“The problems in services for the elderly have blemished the reputation of Finland,” he declared in a press release on Sunday.

The action plan, he argued, must commit local and national decision makers, and companies, organisations and professionals in the health care industry to resolve the problems that have persisted for years.

“The aggravated negligences of care providers that have been uncovered in recent years are a continuation of years-long problems in elderly care. Every elderly person must be able to have trust in the quality of care and dignity in old age regardless of the municipality of residence. We must restore the trust,” stated Häkkänen.

He also pointed out that several sections of the criminal code could be applied to negligences by elderly care providers.

“Certain actions could meet the elements of abandonment, fraud or forgery, for example. If a company attempts to profit by hiring ghost nurses, it could be considered fraud under the criminal code. The supervisory authorities must collaborate with the police,” he underscored.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi