The Finnish Parliamentary Constitutional Law Committee (CLC) decision to demand significant amendments to the 2 above proposals has poured cold water on the unreasonable timetable set by the government.
The CLC has stated that the constitutional rights of equality of basic public healthcare throughout the whole country would not be guaranteed with the current proposals.
The CLC has demanded 2 types of amendments the government’s reform bill. The most important is that the new Counties cannot stop servicing basic healthcare services to residents if they exceed their annual budget set by the Ministry of Finance each year. These services are a basic constitutional right of Finns that cannot be limited by budget constraints set by the government, the newly proposed counties or by municipalities.
The second big objection is that the “Freedom of Choice” promise, driven hard by the Conservative Party, cannot be accepted in its present form because it will lead to “uncontrolled risks and endanger patient safety”, according to the chairwoman of the CLC.
Parliament is expected to discuss the necessary amendments over the next few months and this means that the whole process may be delayed until near to the next general election in April 2019.
After that date, we can expect to see a new coalition in place because of the radical changes in voter behaviour as measured by the monthly polls. These polls put the Conservatives, the Social Democrats and the Greens in strong positions. The Centre Party looks, at this point in time, to be substantially weaker at the next elections.