Finland’s Millennial PM Wants New Health Care for Aging Populace

Prime Minister Sanna Marin wants Finland’s health care to better cater for the country’s aging and shrinking population after similar reforms cost one of her predecessors his job.

The 35-year-old premier and her five-party coalition sent a set of 50 bills to parliament on Tuesday, setting out their vision of how health-care services should be provided and paid for in the future, when shrinking rural communities will no longer be able to afford rising costs.

Various attempts to reform Finland’s fragmented health care model have collapsed over the past decade. In 2019, Juha Sipila suddenly resigned as prime minister just weeks before a general election after failing to deliver on his version of the legislation.

According to Marin’s proposal, health care would be provided by the regions and paid for from the central government’s budget. As a result, local authorities would no longer be able to collect as much in taxes to cover the costs. The key objectives of the proposal include reducing health inequalities and improving the availability and accessibility of services.

The reform would impact the central government’s finances in the 2020s, after which the costs would start decreasing.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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