18 January 2011
The Minister of Health and Social Services in Finland, Paula Risikko, has confirmed that the future treatment, rehabilitation and follow-up care of people with SCI will be centralised in three units.
Read the Minister’s email to ESCIF’s President:
Dear Jane Horsewell
Organising care for persons with spinal cord injury is of great concern to me and, therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by your letter. We should learn from other countries' experience regarding the organisation of high-quality and competent care for persons with spinal cord injury. Indeed, your letter was very well timed.
The Finnish Parliament has recently adopted a new Health Care Act. The act includes also provisions on the grounds for centralising care and treatment. The act enters into force in May 2011, and the plan is that also a government decree on centralised care and treatment will take effect concurrently with act.
The new decree will define the organisation of care for persons with spinal cord injury. The drafting process is well under way, and the bill will be issued during this winter. The aim is to centralise the care for persons with spinal cord injury into three university teaching hospitals, i.e., the university hospitals in Helsinki, Tampere, and Oulu. The decree will provide that in order to ensure competent and high-quality care, these three hospitals will answer for the emergency care of persons with spinal cord injury, for the rehabilitation immediately following the initial treatment as well as for the life-long multiprofessional treatment and follow-up. The hospitals will steer the organisation of care and support for persons with spinal cord injury in close cooperation with the local services in the patient's municipality of residence. We have received plenty of positive feedback on the new way of organising the care for persons with spinal cord injury.
Minister of Health and Social Services