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.
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.
Service providers must be put on a level playing field to ensure that the advantages of competition are realised.
We work to improve our members’ operating environment, and we negotiate the binding collective agreements for our industry
As a member you receive:
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 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: