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More freedom of choice in both basic and specialist healthcare

As of 1 January 2014, municipal residents may select their basic healthcare centre or special healthcare service hospital from among all centres and hospitals in Finland.

When switching healthcare centres, the patient commits to using the health centre of their choice for all their basic healthcare services for at least a year. This means that nurse and physician services, oral healthcare services, central hospital services, child health clinic ser-vices, etc. are all transferred at the same time to be taken care of by the selected healthcare centre.

The freedom of choice will also expand to cover specialist healthcare. As of 1 January 2014, patients may choose the hospital where they are cared for.

If the patient decides to become a customer of the healthcare station of a neighbouring municipality, the patient's home municipality will still cover the costs of the care. This also applies to specialist healthcare; if the patient selects a unit from somewhere other than in their own hospital district's area, the patient's hospital district is responsible for covering the costs of the care.

In basic healthcare, a written notification of the selection has to be submitted to the healthcare centre of the municipality responsible for the care, and to the healthcare centre of the selected municipality. The responsibility will transfer to the selected municipality's healthcare centre within three weeks of receiving the notification.

More information (in Finnish): http://www.jyvaskyla.fi/sote/asiakkaan_oikeudet/terveysaseman_vaihto

7.1.2014Satu Heikkinen

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