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The Finnish government resigns over failed health care reform

Image copyrightReuters CaptionsSipila announced his government's resignation in Helsinki on Friday Finland's entire government has resigned from the fact that it failed to achieve a key political goal of social welfare and health. Prime Minister Juha Sipila said he was "hugely disappointed" in the outcome. Finland's extensive welfare system is under financial pressure as the nation's population ages, but reform plans remain politically controversial. Sipila's government is expected to remain in the caretaker for a scheduled election in April. Some political opponents questioned the need for the high-profile resignation from the central government by just a few weeks to advance to the election. But Antti Kaikkonen, chairman of the center party, defended the decision that was made after it became clear that the party could not reach its goals. 1 9659007] "If anyone asks what political responsibility means, then I would say this is an example," he tweeted. Sipila, a former IT entrepreneur who made millions of pre-initiated policies, had previously said he would consider resigning if his primary reform policy failed. The government had hoped that the planned reforms would save up to EUR 3 billion (2.6 billion) over the next decade. What is Finland's health care problem ? Like many developed countries, Finland has an aging population that puts financial pressure on their social welfare systems. As more and more people live longer in retirement, the cost of pension and health care benefits can increase. The increased costs are paid by taxes collected from the aging population –…

 Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila announces his government's resignation at a press conference at his official residence, Kesaranta, in Helsinki

Image copyright
Reuters

Captions

Sipila announced his government’s resignation in Helsinki on Friday

Finland’s entire government has resigned from the fact that it failed to achieve a key political goal of social welfare and health.

Prime Minister Juha Sipila said he was “hugely disappointed” in the outcome.

Finland’s extensive welfare system is under financial pressure as the nation’s population ages, but reform plans remain politically controversial.

Sipila’s government is expected to remain in the caretaker for a scheduled election in April.

Some political opponents questioned the need for the high-profile resignation from the central government by just a few weeks to advance to the election.

But Antti Kaikkonen, chairman of the center party, defended the decision that was made after it became clear that the party could not reach its goals. 1

9659007] “If anyone asks what political responsibility means, then I would say this is an example,” he tweeted.

Sipila, a former IT entrepreneur who made millions of pre-initiated policies, had previously said he would consider resigning if his primary reform policy failed.

The government had hoped that the planned reforms would save up to EUR 3 billion (2.6 billion) over the next decade.

What is Finland’s health care problem ?

Like many developed countries, Finland has an aging population that puts financial pressure on their social welfare systems.

As more and more people live longer in retirement, the cost of pension and health care benefits can increase. The increased costs are paid by taxes collected from the aging population – which represent a smaller proportion of the population than decades earlier.

In 2018, they were 65 or older at 21.4% of Finland’s population, the fourth highest after Germany, Portugal, Greece and Italy, according to Eurostat.

Finland’s welfare system is also generous in its regulations, which makes it relatively expensive. Attempts to reform have plagued Finnish governments for years.

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Sipila’s proposed solutions meant that regional authorities were created for health and welfare services rather than the local municipalities that currently handle the system and offer, among other things, private companies in health care to a greater extent offers “freedom of choice”.

Sipila’s government also experimented with a guaranteed minimum income system, giving EUR 560 (480 pounds) per month to 2,000 unemployed as basic income

Initial results suggested that the pilot program left people happier, but still unemployed.

Sipila Centerparty has been in a center-right coalition government since 2015. Since a negotiation of 2017, the government has been formed by the center party, the national coalition and the blue reform.

The Social Democrats’ opposition has taken the lead in recent polls by several percentage points.

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