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Sitra challenges the health sector with new vision and 10 proposals

The 2014 Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities has favourably guided the sector’s development for several government terms in Finland. It is now time to refocus the vision towards 2030. Sitra, together with stakeholders in the sector, has developed a vision for the future and proposes 10 measures for how to achieve it.


Kirsi Suomalainen

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


Healthcare currently faces both threats and opportunities. Digitalisation, new technologies and health data indicate a brighter future for care and treatment.

“We need a vision that turns our gaze from the acute challenges of healthcare towards long-term opportunities. We drew up a vision for 2030 (published in Finnish on 15 February 2023) and in English on 8 June 2023) that creates a new image of the future and details the next steps for the sector’s growth and competitiveness,” explains Petri Lehto, Leading Specialist for Sitra.

Measrures to achieve the vision

Sitra’s working paper proposes ten measures to achieve the vision: Innovations must be accelerated using enabling legislation and increased co-operation between well-being services counties and the private sector. RDI funding must be targeted at the sector. Disease prevention must be emphasised and individuals need to be given an active role. Health data must be used to generate new forms of treatment. Our strengths, such as high-quality genetic research, legislation on the use of health data and extensive health registries, are our strong points in international co-operation.

Guided by strategic choices that support the vision and its realisation, our healthcare system can develop to become truly preventative and individualised by 2030, while keeping health service costs under control.

Reforming healthcare in line with the proposals will generate new skills and make Finland one of the most attractive international hubs of healthcare development. Close co-operation between the public and private sectors, enabling legislation, and a determined use of research, development and innovation funding are key to attaining the vision. The Finnish health sector can grow strongly.

The vision is complemented by a proposal for reforming the growth strategy governance model, drawn up by Mikko Alkio, partner in the law firm Roschier. Among other things, Alkio’s memo (in Finnish) proposes the appointment of a chief scientist to take responsibility for the implementation.

“A shared vision combined with patient stories that describe daily life create an encouraging outlook for the future, where reforming our healthcare according to the proposals will improve services and strengthen economic growth,” says Markus Kalliola, Project Director for Sitra.

The vision and recommendations published by Sitra have been prepared in co-operation with an wide range of experts, and were compiled by Leading Specialist Petri Lehto and Specialist Saara Malkamäki from Sitra. The groundwork was done in collaboration with the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies.

The publications include a summary in English and they are aimed at decision-makers responsible for healthcare reform and other parties involved in the practical implementation of the reform. The publications have been produced as part of Sitra’s Health Data 2030 project, which aims to build solutions and bridges for the cross-border use of health data in Europe and to support the development of the competitiveness of the Finnish health sector.

The news including the link to the Finnish working paper was published on 15 February 2023.
The news was updated with the link to the English working paper on 8 June 2023.

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