The standards of social services and health care are high in Finland, and they promote equality. The country’s good social safety net provides people with an adequate income to cover their essential daily expenses and with care in all life situations.

The system comprises municipalities, the Government, unemployment funds, and pension and other insurance institutions. By Finnish standards, Helsinki is an innovative developer and a pioneering provider of social services and health care.

The Social Services and Health Care Division of the City of Helsinki provides wellbeing, health and social security for the citizens of Helsinki. Citizens are served by 15,000 City social services and health care professionals. Helsinki spends 2.1 billion euros in social services and health care annually. This constitutes 47 percent of the total City expenditure.

Helsinki reforms its social services and health care boldly

The underlying principles with the reforms are better recognition of customer needs and accurately targeted services. The goal is to improve access to services, customer experience, impact and productivity.

For example, the City’s new family centres provide comprehensive services for families. They include maternity and child health clinics, which are a concept that has aroused international interest for a long time. Family centres provide customers with multiple services on the one-stop shop principle. Thus the service chain for children and youth is strengthened, enabling early detection of possible problems.

Helsinki’s new health and well-being centres provide a wide range of social and health care services under one roof. The centres include health stations, psychiatric and substance abuse services, social services for adults, disability services and oral care. Health and well-being centres now operate in Vuosaari and Kalasatama, and a new centre is expected to open in Myllypuro in 2020.

Social services and health care in Helsinki

Photo by Riitta Supperi / Keksi Agency / Finland Promotion Board