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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


7. Health and Well-Being

7.7 Making health facilities more youth friendly

As mentioned above, until the social and health care reforms come into force, municipalities are responsible for organising health services. According to the Health Care Act, municipalities must organise health services for pupils in its area. Each school has a designated school public health nurse and a school doctor, whose contact information and appointment hours are printed on  pamphlets distributed to pupils’ homes. Provision of health care services is based on the number of pupils at each school. Numbers may vary. For example, the City of Helsinki Health Department recommends that one school public health nurse and one school doctor should not be responsible for more than 800 and 6,000 pupils respectively. Those young people who are not attending school are entitled to same health services than other residents in the municipality. Additionally, several municipalities offer tailored services for young people. For example, the City of Helsinki has the Youth services, which organises health services for young people who are outside of school health care and occupational health services. These services are free-of-charge. All contacts are confidential. (For more information, visit: Youth Wiki/Finland: 4.6 Access to quality services, Youth Wiki/Finland: 7.4 Healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition and Youth Wiki/Finland: 7.5 Mental health).

Additionally, there are campaigns that concentrate specifically on issues, which are important for young people’s health. For example, one of the initiatives to make health facilities more youth friendly was the NGOs’ campaign concerning free contraception for under 25-year-olds. The campaign was carried out during municipal elections and several candidates supported the initiative. In some municipalities, all young people are already entitled to free contraception. This practice is also recommended by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Family Federation of Finland and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.