Call for greater private sector role in Finland’s healthcare system

More competition between the public and private sectors would cut costs and reduce waiting times for patients, according to Terveystalo’s managing director Yrjö Närhinen.

Yrjö Närhinen, managing director of Terveystalo, Finland’s largest private health services company, is calling for a complete overhaul of the way the Finnish healthcare system is funded and organised. According to Närhinen, the funding crisis of the Finnish healthcare system will deepen due to the ageing of the population unless major reforms are made.

Närhinen believes that transparent competition between the public and private sectors would reduce the cost of healthcare, while giving more choice for patients would cut long waiting lists. Finland’s healthcare market is worth almost EUR 16 billion annually. The share of services provision from the total is EUR 12 billion, of which 80% goes to the public sector.

According to Terveystalo’s annual report, subcontracting by Finland’s public health care system from the private health stations amounts to just 2.4% of their total spending. At the same time Finland’s total spending on health care has increased by 35% since the year 2000.

Terveystalo is owned by the international private equity firm Bridgepoint and had total sales of EUR 296 million in 2009.

Source: Kauppalehti