The planners plan, and the schemers scheme, and yet utopia will always fail to materialize.
The opposition Finns Party is concerned about the additional red tape that might come in with the new regions.
“This proposal increases administration and bureaucracy from current levels,” said Hanna Mäntylä, a Finns Party MP on the parliamentary committee responsible for health and social care.
Centre Party politicians, meanwhile, suggested the proposal was unworkable.
“On the basis of this model a financing reform cannot be implemented,” said the Centre’s parliamentary group chair Kimmo Tiilikainen. “Administration is mixed up and scattered.”
Minister of Health and Social Services Susanna Huovinen on Thursday received a long awaited paper proposing reforms to the Finnish social and health care system.
The ministerial working group proposes that services should be based around key regional centres rather than municipalities, as is currently the case. The government hopes merged service regions will create economies of scale, as the new regions would be based on towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
The Helsinki metropolitan area would form a single so-called health and social service area, while regional municipalities would have the option of clubbing together to provide services if they so desire.
Huovinen emphasised the difficulty of persuading more than 300 municipalities to accept a model of reform.
Reform isn’t easy
“If this was easy, it would’ve happened already,” said the minister, who declined to take a stand on how the government might change the working group’s recommendations. Even some of the experts on the working group disagreed with parts of the report, which should become law in 2015 with the new regional authorities coming into being in 2017.