Private service providers

Private social and healthcare services are complementary to public services. Private service providers such as companies, organisations and foundations may sell their services to municipalities, joint municipal authorities or directly to clients. The role of companies and organisations in the provision of social and healthcare services has been growing throughout the 2000s. As of today, private providers offer more than 25% of all social and healthcare services.

The Government’s social and healthcare strategy and the Government programme state that

  • private social and healthcare services are complementary to municipal services and offer alternatives
  • legislation on private social and healthcare services will be harmonised and clarified
  • supervision of the public and private sectors will be harmonised

In the future, the need for social and healthcare services will increase in tandem with the growing elderly population. To be able to respond to this need, private services are indispensable.

Most common private social services

  • sheltered housing for the elderly
  • home help services for the elderly and disabled
  • institutional and foster care for children and young people
  • child day-care

Most common private healthcare services

  • physiotherapy
  • medical and dental surgeries
  • occupational healthcare

In 2016, there were close to 19,000 private firms operating in the social and healthcare sector, of which 30 are deemed to be large companies. Of the total, about 17,700 are microbusinesses, 800 small and 120 medium-sized. Additionally, a further one thousand companies operate in the sports and physical exercise sector. The social and healthcare companies employ up to 67,500 people and generate an annual turnover of EUR 6059 million. Consequently, we are talking about a major industry and employer.

According to Statistics Finland (2016), there are 900 jobs in North Savo in the ‘Human health and social work activities’ category Q, as defined in the NACE classification. In reality, the actual number is higher because all social and healthcare companies are not classified in this NACE category.