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SOCIAL WELFARE AND HEALTHCARE SERVICE NETWORK SURVEY

Unique map data gathered by the Geography Research Unit of the University of Oulu in a commission from Sitra shows for the first time just how extensive, fragmented and inconsistent the service network is in terms of regional administrative responsibilities.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Social welfare and healthcare administrators (regions) are responsible for ensuring that statutory services are available – the commissioning of service entities, and the monitoring and management of total service costs. On the other hand, service providers are responsible for the practical service arrangements in accordance with agreements signed with administrators. Distinguishing between an administrator and provider requires a new kind of expertise from both sides.

Unique map data gathered by the Geography Research Unit of the University of Oulu in a commission from Sitra shows for the first time just how extensive, fragmented and inconsistent the service network is in terms of regional administrative responsibilities. Social welfare and healthcare service points, outpatient and institutional care services and pharmacies are comprehensively placed on the map by region in different parts of the survey (here and here – links in Finnish). Those in the public, private and third sectors are included. Non-institutional child welfare services and institutional housing were omitted from the data. The data also excludes dental care services and some private entrepreneurs.

The survey also includes a scale for measuring changes in the population base brought about by, for example, ageing and migration. This scale should be taken into consideration in reforming the service network.

What do we do?

Sitra not only funded the survey but also analysed, for example, the impacts of digitisation and logistics development on the use of and need for services based on the data gathered from the service network. Sitra also assessed the importance of upcoming changes from a regional administrator’s standpoint. Read more on the subject here (in Finnish).

Where are we now?

The service network survey was conducted in 2015 and 2016. During 2017, it will be further supplemented.

Who participates?

The service network survey was jointly conducted by Sitra and the Geography Research Unit of the University of Oulu. The survey data is primarily taken from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) GIS register.

What was achieved?

The service network survey has attracted a great deal of attention in the media and sparked debate on the need for service development at the local, regional and national level. Based on the survey, the Finnish broadcasting company YLE created the Hoitotutka online tool, which attracted a large number of users immediately after its launch.

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