10.5.2024 13:42

Social welfare and healthcare register jammed

The social welfare and healthcare register maintained by Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, continues to be seriously overwhelmed.

By law, private service providers may not begin operations before the service provider and its service units have been registered in the Valvira register. This register, Sosteri, has been in use since the start of the year.

At present, 3,700 applications are awaiting processing. Valvira has said in a press release that government agencies are constantly receiving new applications. Valvira says it is only experience a high volume of applications from newly registering social and healthcare service providers and providers registering significant changes.

The authority says that at present processing a single application may take several, at least two and a half, months.

“Unfortunately, we are unable to provide more detail on processing times, as seven different agencies are processing registration applications, that is, Valvira and six Regional State Administrative Agencies,” Valvira says in a press release.

“Additional resources, technical repairs and clarification of instructions for service providers have helped tackle the high volume of applications. Even though progress has been made, the situation for service providers waiting for their applications to be processed continues to be challenging. We are doing everything possible to improve the situation as soon as possible,” Director General Markus Henriksson says in the press release.

Valvira has previously said that the background to the high volumes is the new social and healthcare oversight legislation in force since the start of the year, which added several new stages to government agencies’ processes. Valvira says that it is advising service providers via social media and its website.

Yrittaja.fi has previously reported on student Iina Riihimäki, who has started her own business. Riihimäki, 34, from Satakunta, who is starting a podiatry business, has been negatively affected by the delays in the Sosteri register.

Riihimäki sent her application to Valvira at the start of March. She is applying for her licence to be valid from the start of June. Now, all she can do is wait.

“There’s nothing to do but wait, as my hands are tied,” Riihimäki told Yrittajat.fi in April.

Harri Jaskari, Vice President of Business Policy at Suomen Yrittäjät, the Finnish SME association, said in March that the situation was unsustainable. He said that new companies cannot participate in competitive tenders, even though greater competition is desired for procurement.

“Companies already on the register also face the same unsustainable situation. For example, when companies expand or their attending physician is changing, they have to inform the register before they can continue. How on earth can companies grow, develop and create better services when they do not get the permits to do so?” Jaskari asked in March.

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