Access to non-urgent care at health stations

Lääkäri potilastyössä

Assessment objective

The main question of the assessment was whether the availability of non-urgent care at all of Helsinki’s health stations is at the level provided for by law and the City’s own policies. The assessment examined whether contact with the care location has been established and the need for care assessed in accordance with the law and the City’s objectives and policies, and whether non-urgent care has been received in accordance with the law and the City’s objectives and policies, as well as in an equal manner.

Conclusions

Apart from a few exceptions, non-urgent care at Helsinki’s health stations is provided within the statutory deadlines but not in accordance with the City’s own policies or in an equal manner between areas. Individual cases of exceeding the 90-day waiting time occur annually – most of these at the health stations of the eastern area. There are very large differences in waiting times for realised appointments between health stations. The main reason access to non-urgent care at health stations is not realised equally between areas or in accordance with the City’s objectives is the shortage of doctors. The most important factors influencing the stability and availability of doctors are the workload, training opportunities and a salary that is able to compete with the municipalities around Helsinki.

The Audit Committee concludes that

the Social Services and Health Care Division must
◼ ensure that access to non-urgent care is provided at all health stations in accordance with the Health Care Act.
◼ develop the working conditions of doctors at health stations so that the workload is considered reasonable at all health stations.
◼ further develop the recruitment and stability of doctors at health stations.
◼ provide adequate training opportunities for doctors at health stations.
◼ develop the compilation of statistics on access to non-urgent care so that differences between and challenges of health stations can be identified.


together with the City Executive Office, the Social Services and Health Care Division must
◼ ensure that the salaries of doctors at Helsinki’s health stations are competitive.

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