Well-being services counties in Finland to be consolidated

Well-being services counties in Finland to be consolidated

Decision-makers in the county are scheduled to discuss a reform programme earlier this autumn that is expected to reduce the deficit slightly. Aronkytö emphasised that the programme is not a series of spending cuts but a genuine development programme, the effects of which will not be evident until years from now - too late for the budgetary targets imposed on the well-being counties.

By the end of 2026, the Finnish government has declared that the regions should eradicate their budget deficits. In 2023, calculations by the ministry of finance suggest that the regions will have a combined deficit of 1.2 billion euros.

The largest health care provider in Finland, Pirkanmaa, announced that it is planning to reduce its headcount by 500 person years to create cost savings. STT has said 13 of the 21 health services counties have launched or are planning to launch consultative negotiations in pursuit of cost savings.

Founded in 2021 to take over the responsibility for organising social and health care services from municipalities, joint municipal governments and hospital districts, the well-being services counties are all in economic trouble, he said. Several county directors told the paper they are helplessly underfunded, potentially facing a ministry assessment of their ability to perform their statutory duties.

An examination of the merits of consolidations inevitably involves a probe of the merits of consolidations.

By Friday, county officials shot down the idea of consolidations.

We have just carried out a major administrative reform, which created the systems for the current structures. If all the counties were consolidated, billions of euro would be spent on new patient systems, investments and wage harmonisation, said Santeri Seppälä, the county director in Southern Savonia.

'' t create a single rich one, but one that's even poorer,'' said Tero Järvinen, from South Ostrobothnia.

The city will first fund the well-being services counties based on how much the municipalities, joint municipal authorities and hospital districts that were previously responsible for organising social and health care services spent on the services in 2022, the last year before the responsibility was transferred to the counties.

In the future, the criteria will be gradually shifted toward service needs, as determined by factors such as the age structure and morbidity of the county population.

The city of Vantaa manages its facility and staff costs carefully last year despite the obvious incentive to spend substantial amounts, Aronkytö says, leaving the county with more catching up to do than others.

We've harmonised wages, but we've also raised them because we're competing with our neighbours for the same professionals. This has already started to have an impact on our reputation as an employer, he said.

The shift to needs-based funding has been criticized as unfair in the capital region, as it fails to consider the actual need for child welfare services, Aronkytö said.

On Tuesday, Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen, a research director at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, said she is not surprised by the cost-cutting plans of well-being services counties.

The reform was expected to force social and health care providers to shutter facilities especially in small communities in the face of strained economic and human resources, she said.