Coordination and enforcement of health care services for prisoners and the armed forces

One of society’s core functions is to ensure that every citizen has access to adequate and as equal as possible health care services in accordance with the normalcy principle. 

Together with Vavira, we advise and enforce the provision of health care services in accordance with the law. The Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland is the national authority for the enforcement of the provision of health care services to prisoners and the Defence Forces. The Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland is also the central enforcing authority for health care professionals. Enforcement is carried out both prospectively with assessment and guidance visits and inspections and retrospectively in the form of complaints and inspections.

Right to good health care and equal treatment

Everyone living permanently in Finland has the right to seek health care for their condition without discrimination and within the resources available for the health care system at the time. The ‘normalcy principle’ must be observed in a person’s right to access good health care and how they are treated.

In the context of health care in prisons, the normalcy principle refers to the principle that the only restriction imposed by a prison sentence should be the loss of freedom.

Access to medical care

We enforce access to medical care under the guaranteed access to health care scheme. Guaranteed maximum waiting times apply to access to basic and specialist health care services. There are defined maximum time frames for accessing medical care.

Read more about

  • patients’ rights and status
  • filing a complaint about a social or health care service provider.

Further information

  • Sinikka Salo, Senior Medical Officer of Regional Administration, tel. +358 (0)295 017 028
  • Pasi Eskola, Senior Medical Officer of Regional Administration, tel. +358 (0)295 017 573
  • Matti Vainiokangas, Senior Officer, health care, tel. +358 (0)295 017 563
  • emails: [email protected]

Links to legal texts

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