The Finnish Association of Private Care Providers

Who are we?

The Finnish Association of Private Care Providers works to improve the operating environment for companies and organizations that provide services in the social and health sectors and in childcare. We negotiate national collective agreements for these industries. We look after our members’ common interests and provide advice on employment and business policy issues. Our 1,500 members employ more than 85,000 professionals in the social and health sectors and in early childhood education. The Association is a member of EK, the Confederation of Finnish Industries.

Our members provide services for the elderly, services for children and young people, medical services, occupational health services, rehabilitation, oral care, addiction and mental health services, and emergency care services; many of our members are non-profit organisations.

Main themes

The private care sector aims to provide high-quality social and health services for everyone, regardless of their life situation or means. The various service providers must able to present their offerings to customers on a basis that is both equitable and transparent. In order to improve the quality of services and limit costs, we need healthy competition for care services.

Multiple provider model

Competition drives productivity

Social and health care accounts for more than half of Finland’s public spending.

People across the country do not enjoy equal access to public social and health services, and the ability of municipalities to provide them has fallen year after year. The sustainability gap is growing, and the ability of the economy to bear the burden of healthcare costs is approaching crisis point.

A monopoly is neither customer friendly nor efficient. We therefore need an overhaul of our entire system and many more providers in the market.

The multiple provider model is one in which different actors cooperate to produce a comprehensive service package. This model allows municipalities to buy in services from external service providers, in addition to producing them themselves or in cooperation with other municipalities. Healthy competition serves to promote best practice and create a more productive and customer-friendly service than exists at present. Competition also creates space for innovation.

Social and health services must enjoy the benefits of fair and open competition. In order to realise these benefits, all actors must be able to compete under the same conditions. This is what competitive neutrality means: fair competition among the various players. Where there is competition neutrality, public and private businesses are able to operate on equal terms.

In the area of social and health care, private businesses and public providers do not receive equal treatment either in legislation or at the hands of the authorities. Breaches of competition law must be put right. Our aim must be to ensure fair competition between public and private operators.

A level playing field

Service providers must be put on a level playing field to ensure that the advantages of competition are realised.

Membership of the Finnish Association of Private Care Providers

We work to improve our members’ operating environment, and we negotiate the binding collective agreements for our industry

As a member you receive:

  • Advocacy on business and labor market policy issues.
  • Free expert legal advice on employment matters.
  • Training at special members’ prices.

Freedom of choice in social and health services

Freedom of choice is a way to increase competition between service providers, thereby enhancing customer focus and quality of service. This freedom may be exercised through direct customer choice, customer vouchers, and personal budgets. Organisers of services should be compelled to use all these methods.
Two-thirds of Finns want to increase their own direct decision-making control over who provides their services.

Freedom of choice is not a duty or obligation or compulsion – it is a right and an opportunity.

Those who do not wish to or cannot make a choice themselves can get help to do so, and if not the organisation responsible for arranging services will make one for them.

For services where individual freedom of choice of service producer is not appropriate, competition and the multiple provider model should be promoted by making sure purchasing procedures are conducted in accordance with the Procurement Act. We work to bring about a situation in which public and privately-owned service providers are compared on a quality and cost basis.

The private sector produces more than a quarter of all social and health services. There are over 100,000 private social and health care sector professionals serving Finnish people across every county and municipality in the country.

The care industry’s tax footprint was more than 3.4 billion euro in 2020.

There are almost 50,000 service providers and other social and healthcare actors, operating from a total of 23,000 sites. The majority are non-profit or self-employed.
The aim of the private care industry is to provide citizens with the services they need without unreasonable delay and to ensure that those services are well-functioning, of good quality and reasonably priced.

All social and health services in the private sector are subject to registration, licensing and monitoring by the authorities.

All private companies operating in the social and healthcare sector in Finland pay taxes to Finland.


Contact us

ERASMUS project

The Finnish Association of Private Care Providers participated in an EU co-funded Erasmus project among the Czech Republic, Finland and the Netherlands.

The project  examined the situation and practices in the labor force structure of the three EU countries in the social services sector, co-operation with the trade union movement and good operational innovations, especially in services for the elderly.

Hopefully the final report will help to advance these themes and provide information on how the challenges have been met in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Finland.

Download the final report from below:

Social dialogue and staffing in social services