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Finland Seeks Systemic Changes in Health Care

HELSINKI, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The report entitled The Finnish Health Care System: A Value-Based Perspective highlights new strategic perspectives on the development needs of health care in Finland. The report utilizes Michael E. Porter's model on value-based health care to analyze Finnish health care.

Over the last few years, the world-famous business strategist and Professor of Harvard Business School Michael E. Porter has been analysing the effectiveness of health care. One of his key observations is that current health care systems are organised as though treatment, and not health, are their objective. The prevailing rules encourage cost shifting whereby the position of each organisation is secured at the expense of the overall benefit.

The report just published uses the model created by Porter as a means of analysis. The report describes and evaluates the operations of health care structures on the basis of how much health they create, and gives recommendations on developing the system.

The report, sponsored by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, was written by Juha Teperi, Michael E. Porter, Lauri Vuorenkoski and Jennifer F. Baron.

Juha Teperi, Programme Director at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, highlights the focus on managing the whole care cycle, steering through care outcomes, the better utilisation of technology and strengthening the position of patients as the most important factors in the change.

"The aim of the health care system is to create as much health as possible. Primary health care must be significantly improved and reformed in a way that effectively transfers the focus from treating illnesses to health promotion, prevention and early intervention," says Teperi.

The report emphasises the position and role of patients as stewards of their own health and the better utilisation of information technology in reforming services. Health value can also be improved through specialisation and competition.

"We are happy that the views of leading experts have now been brought to the discussion in such a clear manner. The publication we have produced is part of Sitra's overall strategy aiming at systemic changes in Finland" says Executive Director Hannu Hanhijarvi from Sitra's Health Care Programme.

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