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Home BUSINESSSote reform to save up to EUR 3b
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Thu, 20 Aug, 2015 12:01:35 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Aug 20
 
Aalto University Professor Erkki Vauramo spoke on Sote reform in Helsinki on Wednesday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
The social welfare and healthcare reform, commonly referred to as sote reform, could save the economy 2-3 billion euros, according to Aalto university researchers.
 
The research report published on Wednesday by the Foundation for Municipal Development recommended that the countrywide model of the sote reform should adopt the hospital districts where services are already effectively organised.
 
The whole population of the country should be managed by ensuring that the areas where the majority of the population reside are managed effectively, said Aalto University Professor Erkki Vauramo.
 
According to Vauramo, their proposal offers a way to do more with limited resources.
 
The model will be applied in the district hospitals of South Karelia, Helsinki and Uusimaa as well as Kanta-Häme where 53-54 people per 1,000 inhabitants work in the social and health care services.
 
The rapporteurs – Vauramo, Teemu Malmi and Petra Kinnula – proposed that 12 or 13 regions should be incorporated in the sote reform.
 
According to the model, the population in a given area should be at least 170,000.
 
Regional social and health care would no longer be divided into independent specialised medical care, basic healthcare and social services, but should be operating under one management of one service network.
 
Hospitals should be two-tiered: in-attendance acute hospital and a local rehabilitation hospital.
 
“This organisation meets both the central hospital and the health centre. This means that, for instance, the central hospital’s chief physician of internal medicine has something to say how health centre patients are treated,” Vauramo explained.
 
Professor of Aalto University Teemu Malmi spoke on Sote reform in Helsinki on Wednesday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
The report, however, pointed out that the sote-region service structure must be designed on the basis of each region and according to specific features.
 
The elderly population of over 75-year-old will be growing by 460,000 by the year 2040.
 
Based on the published study, by dismantling the elderly overcapacity institutions, around a billion euros in rapid savings could be achieved.
 
The need for institutional care can be scaled down, for instance, by investing in rehabilitation of the aging population, and establishing a regional rehabilitation system as well as renewing the nursing home system.
 
The proposal also underlined the development of the third sector cooperation as well as investing in regional health programmes in the spirit of the North Karelia project.
 
According to the study, rationalising operations of laboratory and imaging services as well as the operating room could lead to hundreds of millions in savings.
 
Eliminating overlapping social and health care services was also proposed as a cost-saving measure.
 
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