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‘After many years of preparation and waiting, the implementation of the reform of healthcare, social welfare and rescue services can finally get under way,’ says Minister Krista Kiuru (Press release of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on 26th of August 2021). The reform was already one of the most central goals of Juha Sipilä’s Government (2015–2019). The Government of Sanna Marin (2019-) describes the needs for the reform in the following way: ‘At present, people may need to wait for access to care and services and not all people have equal access to health and social services.’ For more information and to see the map of the 22 counties taking care of health, social and rescue services, see the Government’s information package entitled: What is the health and social services reform?
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s recent press release, the county councils will take on their role as organisers once they start operating in 2022. The actual responsibility for organising services will be transferred to the counties’ well-being services on 1 January 2023. The first county elections will be held on 23 January 2022. Starting in 2025, the county elections will be held in conjunction with the local elections. County elections will be held in all areas except Helsinki, where the city council work as the responsible body.
Since autumn 2019 there has been much domestic discussion among citizens, experts and the media about the mental health issues of young people who are studying. Based on the press-release from The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on February 11th 2020: ‘The service structure for treating mental health disorders among young people is particularly fragmented. More and more young people, who suffer from mental health disorders, are currently directed to specialised medical care. In contrast, there are scarce opportunities for young people regarding early treatment of mental health disorders in primary health care. Basic care for school pupils, in particular, does not materialise. The government will now strengthen young people’s access to psychosocial interventions within publicly funded basic services.’