As the autumn term at higher education institutions begins, the queues of FSHS’s general, mental and oral health services appear to be slightly shorter compared to spring. The situation was improved by summertime services, which were provided to a larger number of customers than during the same time last year. Longer queues can be expected later this autumn, however, as new students begin to seek treatment, which is manifested every year by an increasing number of calls and messages to the FSHS, particularly toward the end of the autumn term.
General and mental health
In FSHS general and mental health services, the need for treatment is usually assessed within a few hours of a student contacting us. For non-urgent care, the first treatment event, i.e. the team responsible contacting the student, takes place usually (90% of the time) within 1 to 7 days.
Waiting times for a general or mental health appointment vary depending on the reason for the visit, the category of professionals providing the care and the service unit. The queuing times for short-term therapy, for example, have seen a positive development, while neuropsychiatric examinations have the longest waiting times. The demand for services varies, sometimes considerably, according to location. The mode of appointment (remote vs. face-to-face) also influences the queuing time to an extent. Generally speaking, remote appointments have a shorter waiting time than face-to-face appointments.
In order to shorten waiting times, we use outsourced services to complement our own service production. A government grant from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, available for use until the end of the current year, has also enabled us to improve the availability of FSHS mental health services.
In FSHS oral health services, the need for treatment is assessed within the same day of a student contacting us. During the summer, all oral health service units were able to meet the deadlines indicated in the statutory care guarantee for the initiation of treatment. There are, however, large regional and service unit-specific variations in access to care due to factors such as differences in the demand for services. After treatment initiation, further treatment may require a wait. The longest waiting times for non-urgent care are seen in the Helsinki region and Tampere, with some students having to wait 3 to 6 months for non-urgent treatment.