he Association is ideally placed to contribute expertise in this connection as it represents the medical profession throughout Finland. Ensuring high-quality health services for everyone serves the interests of both doctors and patients.
The FMA pursues several initiatives and issues a number of statements each year with the aim of improving health care and related legislation.
The Association has put forward plans intended to ensure a sound financial basis for provision of health services. The strike by physicians in 2001 by the Association drew national attention to the critical lack of resources provided for health care.
The FMA has played a significant role in establishing a general patient insurance scheme and developing a family-doctor system for Finnish health centres.
The aim of the Association is to promote the right of patients to have access to the treatment they need promptly. Possibilities for choosing a doctor and place of treatment need to be improved.
Health services are available to all in Finland, regardless of their financial situation. Public health services are mainly financed from tax revenues.
The child mortality rate in Finland is one of the lowest in the world; the infant mortality rate is below 4‰. The life expectancy for a girl born now is 81 years, for a boy 73 years.
The life expectancy of Finnish men is deteriorated by cardiovascular disease, excessive consumption of alcohol and accidents.
Cardiovascular mortality has declined in response to effective health and nutritional education in recent decades but excessive blood cholesterol levels and obesity remain common in Finland. Smoking and drug abuse are significantly less frequent in Finland than in Europe on average.
The aim of Finnish health policy is to lengthen the active and healthy lifetimes of citizens, to improve quality of life, and to diminish differences in health between population groups. Prevention receives particular emphasis in primary health care.
Health services are available to all in Finland, regardless of their financial situation. Public health services are mainly financed from tax revenues; partly municipal, partly state tax.
Central government's contribution to municipal health care is determined by population numbers, age structures and morbidity statistics. A number of other factors also affect its computation.
Finland spends less on health care than most other EU member states. This is due both to the efficiency of the system and to the relatively low level of wages in the health care sector in Finland. The FMA has repeatedly demanded more resources for health services.
Other contributors include employers, private insurance and benefit societies. The decline in public sector health-care expenditure in recent years has led to increases in costs to households.