With Finland’s ageing population, demand on municipal well-being services will increase. And we’ll need more of these services if we’re to sustain the public economy.
Improved services for the public
Because of Finland’s ageing population, the demand for locally-provided well-being services will continue to increase, placing more strain on the country’s gross national product. Simultaneously, sustaining the public economy effectively means the quality of these municipal services will need to keep improving. Municipal services must be developed to meet the challenges presented by the ageing population, by regional differentiation and by a decline in the workforce. Only then can local residents receive the best possible services.
To help respond to and cope with this increasing demand for services, Sitra encourages the development of municipal services, as well as promoting the reform of the structures that supply them. Such reform is also essential to ensure the sustainability of the public economy.
Sitra’s aims for well-being services:
- services will be more readily available
- services will be of higher quality and more closely tailored to local needs
- increased freedom of choice for local residents
- services will be cost-efficient
- productivity will increase
- resources will be optimised
Projects implemented by Sitra have also helped face up to these growing demands. The Health Vault service, for example, promotes the use of a joint health records platform for public and private sectors. Sitra has been involved in creating a so-called ‘eco-system’, offering low threshold health kiosk activities, the piloting of service vouchers for use in the social and healthcare sector, applying a personal budget to social and healthcare services and by promoting the public’s freedom of choice in basic health care.
Sitra also promotes a thorough reform of the structure of well-being services by introducing new, alternative views into the discussion. The healthcare financing and steering model presents an alternative way to reform health care and the Sirius report has studied the applicability of international patient record systems to Finland. Change management in municipalities has been supported by the Municipal MBA degree programme, developed in cooperation with the Continuing Professional Development Centre of the University of Jyväskylä.
Nationwide service centres help improve the financial position of local authorities, while the public’s access to electronic services allows them to cross traditional municipal boundaries. Sitra’s role has been to speed up the establishment of service centres which integrate the management of IT, Finance and Human Resources.