Finland Times

Tuesday, 07 December, 2021
Home NATIONALProposed reform to support information systems examined
Thu, 30 Jun, 2016 02:47:07 AM
FTimes Report, June 30

The recent report examines the national direction of healthcare and social welfare and upper secondary education in Finland and makes proposals for their further development, said an official press release.

The reform of the structures and funding of healthcare and social welfare that is now being prepared is likely to reinforce the opportunities for the State to direct healthcare and social welfare, also via the total funding by the State and transfer of the responsibility for organising the services to the counties, according to the report.

The report identifies the gaps in the collection of data that would be needed, including the shortage of data on social services and on the costs of service provision.

“In addition, the legislation on information in the registers restricts the use of information and combining information from various sources. The report makes a proposal on an information base required for the direction,” it said.

The survey was carried out as part of the implementation of the Government's 2014 plan for analysis, assessment and research, said the press release.

At present it is quite difficult for the central government to direct the social and health services.

Well-designed information systems may give effective support to directing the services, thus also reducing the disparities between regions and population groups with regard to access to services.

Comprehensive registers and use of electronic customer information systems by service providers would offer excellent opportunities to construct information systems for assessing the cost effectiveness and other key objectives of the services.

However, in the development strategies concerning healthcare and social welfare there has not been enough focus on designing such systems.

Finland is lagging behind in the international development of information systems relating to the evaluation of the performance of service systems.  

Besides evaluating the current direction procedures, the perspective to education included the reform of the funding and structures of upper secondary education prepared by the previous Government.  

The report describes the direction of education on the basis of the domestic reform proposal, as well as scientific literature and international practices.

The concrete policy measure analysed in the report is the proposal of the Ministry of Education and Culture made in the beginning of 2015 concerning the reform of the funding of upper secondary education.

The key objectives of the reform were to improve the performance and efficiency of upper secondary education and achieve savings.

From the perspective of public finances the envisaged reform would have been an improvement as the ceiling on the appropriation would have made it easier to regulate the funding of upper secondary education that is allocated via the central government transfers.

Various research results have shown that a desired outcome can be reached by means of performance-based funding, provided that the indicators to be used truly measure the quality of education.

At the same time, the funding system should be transparent and have the approval of the beneficiaries.

Performance-based funding that involves quite complex criteria obscures the objectives of the funding system and, in the worst scenario, may lead to a situation where the beneficiaries only focus on maximising the amount of funding they may be entitled to, the survey finds.

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