Finland has a long-standing commitment to deliver high-value care to its citizens; it is even part of the Finnish constitution. The result is a country that continuously ranks as the happiest nation on earth1-3, with healthcare being one of the key components.
Achieving “healthcare happiness” requires several things: positive health outcomes, motivated and productive caregivers, confidence among patients, and balancing demand and costs in a publicly funded system.
This thought leadership paper introduces five elements that allowed Finland to make significant progress toward more high-value care, a digitally enabled healthcare system and high satisfaction rates in their population.
How Finland transformed its healthcare system - Key learnings
Change is a constant factor in healthcare, and the 21st century has brought many new challenges. Addressing these challenges proactively like Finland has done, can help to prepare healthcare systems for the tasks that lie ahead.
For Finland, that meant the following:
- Establishing clear lines of responsibility: Delivering the right care, at the right time, in the right place
- Integrating care: Giving patients access to care under one roof
- Specializing care services: Leveraging the skill of healthcare professionals to deliver high-value care
- Digitalizing healthcare: Building a data-driven healthcare system
- Measuring healthcare performance: Monitoring and measuring healthcare outcomes to achieve positive patient outcomes
Together, these five elements have transformed care delivery and are the basis of a quality healthcare system and support continuous improvement for the future.
About the co-author
Päivi Sillanaukee is thematic ambassador for health and wellbeing at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as part of a pilot program of cross-sectoral cooperation on global issues. Her career has spanned over 20 years in the highest civil servant administrative positions both from government and public sectors. She has worked to promote public health, social protection, and gender equality in the European Union and at global levels.
She has represented Finland in the WHO Executive Board since May 2018 and served as its first and third Vice Chair from May 2018 to May 2020. She is the co-chair of the Alliance for Health Security Cooperation (AHSC), a member of the Steering Group of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and a member of Health Advisory Board of the UN Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL) Finland.