Finland has a universal healthcare system that covers hospital and primary care services. The Finnish healthcare system has a decentralized structure wherein each of the country’s 450 municipalities arranges its own healthcare system for its residents. Services are provided by healthcare centers located in each municipality or jointly by neighboring municipalities. These healthcare centers are staffed with general practitioners, and secondary care is provided through district or regional hospitals staffed with specialists.
The National Health Insurance (NHI) program covers all permanent residents of Finland, which provides public sector care, free of charge, and reimburses of a portion of medically necessary private sector medical and dental care, medication costs, and transportation costs related to illness.
Under the decentralized structure, the Finnish central government plays a smaller role than the municipalities in the healthcare system, deciding only broad national policies.
Health care funding is financed mainly through municipal tax revenues and compulsory NHI fees. Apart from tax financing, a cost-sharing component, which is required by most services provided, is also used to reduce cost. Hospital consultations require a small amount of fixed out-of-pocket expense, while treatments for long-term illness are charged to patients based largely on income.
The private sector represents a relatively small part of the healthcare system, and mostly relates to physical therapy, dentistry, and occupational therapy services. Under 4% of in-patient care is provided by the private sector.
Information technology plays an important role in the Finnish healthcare system. Electronic Patient Records have been adopted in almost every healthcare provider since 2007. Due to the decentralized system, however, many different information systems are usually used within a single hospital, inhibiting information flow and decision making. There is an ongoing effort at the national level to create an integrative information technology infrastructure to improve efficiency and security.
5.5 million(2016, World Bank)
$237 billion(2016, World Bank, USD)
- Healthcare Spending:
$22.9 billion(2016, Brocair estimate, USD)
- Healthcare Spending as % of GDP:
9.7%(2014, World Bank)
- Annual Healthcare Spending Per Capita:
$4,164(2016, Brocair estimate, USD)