The national freedom of choice pilot in health and social services started in Hämeenlinna on 23 February 2017. The municipal residents that were included in the pilot have been sent a bulletin by post.
In the freedom of choice pilot, a resident included in the pilot can choose basic health care services by a doctor or nurse with any of the service providers involved in the trial.
Two health centre areas in Hämeenlinna have been selected for the pilot.
Based on the decision of the City Board on 23 August 2016, the residents of the Jukola and Lammi-Tuulos health centre areas in Hämeenlinna have been selected as participants in the pilot.
The pilot includes 18,300 municipal residents. The residents have made selections at a steady rate.
In the freedom of choice pilot, you can choose any of the listed service providers to provide your health care services. So far, the following service have registered in the pilot:
- Ilveskoti health centre
- Oma Lääkärisi Hämeenlinna of Mehiläinen
- Juho Nummenmaa / Mainiemi offices
- Linnan Klinikka Oy at the Tuulonen office
- Suomen Terveystalo Oy
- the Jukola and Lammi-Tuulos health centres.
The pilot started in February 2017, and it will continue until the end of October 2018. The municipal residents participating the pilot will be sent a letter to their home on the start of the trial.
In addition to their own health centre, the Hämeenlinna residents included in the pilot can also choose a private or a third sector service provider.
The clients will receive services comparable to public health care from the service provider they choose, i.e. services in accordance with the service package. According to the plan, the public health care service package covers
- services at the appointments of a doctor or a nurse
- services at the appointments of a psychiatric nurse, as well as
- services at the appointments of a social instructor.
The client will pay the same amount for the service as for a visit to the health centre. Price list for client fees, 2018.
The cities included in the freedom of choice pilot and their residents are pioneers setting the trend for the rest of Finland.
The experience and views of the cities, city residents and local service providers involved in the pilot are of utmost importance for the reform as a whole.
Expanding the freedom of choice is a good opportunity to make the social welfare and health care services more customer-oriented. During the pilot, finding out that a solution does not work is equally important as the solutions considered to be successful.
The trial aims to find advance information on issues such as how the clients and providers of health and social services act, and what will happen to the costs and the availability of services when the health and social services reform and the expanded freedom of choice enter into force in 2020.