The FSHS has made preparations for the changes in Care Guarantee requirements contained in amendments to the Health Care Act. The time limits set for assessing the need for treatment and for providing access to care will become tighter on 1 September 2023.
Even though the FSHS has been able to meet the requirements for access to care under the current legislation, meeting the new time limits will be a challenge. The changes are considerable, and access to care will have to be provided much faster.
“We’ve made arrangements to provide faster access to services and are confident that we’re doing our best in a challenging situation. We’ll be constantly monitoring the effectiveness of these arrangements as well as our success rate during the autumn”, says Medical Director Teija Kulmala.
The FSHS has been preparing for the new requirements by making changes to its service model and by providing more services digitally. Currently, 72% of all FSHS service use is digital. The FSHS will strive to maintain this level of digital service use as demand for services continues to increase.
The way assessments of the need for treatment work has been changed, and now an appointment can already be booked during the assessment. The FSHS will also track the numbers of booked and attended appointments more closely.
Demand for mental health services remains high. The FSHS has strengthened its model for the treatment of mental health issues, which comprises different levels. Referring students to the treatment level that corresponds with their symptoms is now more precise than before. The supply of low-level services has been increased, and staff have been trained in the updated treatment model.
The changes in Care Guarantee requirements mean that starting from 1 September, the FSHS will have to respond to students and assess their need for treatment on the same day they contact the FSHS if the contact is made during office hours on a weekday. In addition, access to general and mental health care will have to be provided within 14 days and access to oral health care within 4 months from the day of first contact.
The FSHS will publish information about how well it has met the new legal requirements on its website at fshs.fi starting in October. These reports will be based on reporting data by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).