1. When can I change the health centre to one that is more suitable for me?

As a public health care client, you are free to choose your basic health care provider (health centre) from any location in the country. In order to change your health centre, you must provide written notification to both your current and new health centre. The process of changing the health centre may take up to three weeks. Additional information about changing your health centre, and possibly also a form, is available on your municipality´s website or will be provided by your health centre.

  1. According to the law, I can change my health centre once a year. Does this mean that I will be reverted back to a client of my previous health centre when the year is up or do I need to give notice of my return?

If you have changed your health centre, you will remain as a client of the new health centre for as long as you want. Should you wish to return to your old health centre, you must issue a written notification. Some municipalities offer their primary health care clients greater freedom of choice than that prescribed in the Health Care Act. In Helsinki, for example, clients can change their health centre more often than once a year.

  1. Can I give notice of my desire to change my health centre by e-mail?

The notice of change must be issued in writing. An e-mail or other electronic document meets this requirement. Once an authority has received your message, it must immediately notify you of the receipt of the electronic document with an automatic reply to your e-mail address, for example.

  1. I would like to use basic health care services at a variety of health centre in my municipality of residence. Is this possible?

You can only choose one health centre at a time, and the selection covers all basic health care services. In other words, you cannot pick and choose where to visit a doctor, where to use the laboratory services, and so on. However, some municipalities wish to offer greater freedom of choice than what is prescribed in the Health Care Act. Therefore, you should visit the website of our municipality or your health centre to find out what the agreement on selecting health care services is in the area of your municipality of joint municipal authority.

  1. How is patient information transferred to my new health centre?

As a patient, you are not required to transfer your information to the new place of treatment. When you visit the facility for the first time, you will be informed about the joint register and the fact that information can be transferred between the operating units without separate consent. You can also prohibit the disclosure of your information to the new health centre, in which case you are responsible for providing it to the health care professional treating you.

  1. Do I need to pay the client fee to the new health centre if I have already made the annual payment the old health centre.

The annual fee for outpatient care at a health centre is valid for one calendar year in the health centre to which the payment was made. In other words, if you change your health centre over the course of a calendar year and you have already paid the previous health centre, you must also make the payment to the new one. If you do not pay the annual fee, you will be charged for accessing the services in accordance with the Decree on Client Fees in Social Welfare and Health Care.