Doctors Oppose Public Health Care Management Practice

Doctors across the country are furious with an organisational change to primary health care that has instated service managers, not medical doctors, to manage health care centres.

Doctors have resisted this administrative change to public health care by going to work for private health care providers.

Staff shortages at some public clinics set in last autumn, which is when a sweeping organisational overhaul brought civil servants in to head health care centres’ administration. 

Doctors Leave Public Sector

Doctors boycotted the changeover by taking leaves of absence and by transitioning to the private sector.

“Doctors are responsible for the clinical care of patients. Doctors should therefore have power correlating to the magnitude of responsibility,” says Heikki Pälve, Executive Director of the Finnish Medical Association.

Tuula Tähtinen, who manages health care services in Oulu, meanwhile says medical expertise is not necessary in primary health care management duties.

The Finnish Medical Association’s message seems to be that reforms have been improperly designed.

“Organisations have to work in practice, and not just on flow charts,” says Pälve.

Public health care centres around the country have now been forced to purchase services from private medical companies to fill staff shortages.

Inhabitants in some regions, such as Oulu, know not to expect to make a doctor’s appointment this summer. In health care centres across the country, the doctor gap means that only people with acute illnesses will be scheduled for a consultation with a doctor.


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