Pilot schemes for service vouchers begin

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
17.10.2016 14.03 | Published in English on 19.10.2016 at 16.03
Press release 170

The recipients of government transfers and grants have been chosen among those who took part in a call for project proposals to launch a service voucher pilot. The choices were made on the basis of the discussion in the Ministerial working group on well-being and health.

In 2017-2018, funding will be provided to implement five projects. These will pilot the use of service vouchers in selecting service packages providers who offer more than just a single service.  Legislative amendments will not be made for the pilots but they will be implemented on the basis of the existing legislation; the service voucher act (569/2009) is the key act to be applied.

The service voucher pilot is part of a key project called Services to be based on customer needs.

Municipalities that received government transfers and grants

The pilot will be conducted in the following municipalities where project plans on the whole best complied with the goals set for the content and schedule of the service voucher pilot: The consortium administered by the city of Hyvinkää (Hyvinkää, the town of Mäntsälä, the municipalities of Nurmijärvi, Pornainen and  Tuusula);  the service voucher pilot of the municipalities in the Central Uusimaa area 2016-2018; the city of Hämeenlinna; Freedom of choice for healthcare and social welfare services (SOTE) in Hämeenlinna; the city of Jyväskylä; Freedom of Choice Project (so-called VaVa project the implementation of which will be more limited than the proposal; the city of Tampere; Freedom of Choice Pilot; joint municipal authority for healthcare and social welfare services (SOTE) in Upper Savo; the freedom of choice pilot People first in Upper Savo. Official decisions on government transfers and grants will be made in October.

As to the projects that have been granted funding, it is necessary to further define their planning before they are launched. The pilot's goal was set to gain experience and information extensively on the behaviour of customers, service organisers and service providers; on the functioning of choices, compensation models, information systems and markets; and the implementation of customer participation and the integration of healthcare and social welfare services (SOTE).

The best way to obtain this information is to give to the pilot projects contents and priorities that partly differ from each other. As the follow-up and assessment of the pilots are the key purpose of the project all those who receive funding should commit themselves to it.

Priorities of the projects

The priorities of the projects to be funded are:

  • The consortium administered by the city of Hyvinkää: the use of a bonus sanction   incorporated into the compensation model for service providers and the use of a specific budget in further services, EUR 2 million
  • The city of Hämeenlinna: the use of an age group specific capitation compensation incorporated into the compensation model for service providers and the linking of electronic self-care services with freedom of choice services, EUR 2 million
  • City of Jyväskylä: companies and organisations cooperate to develop together e.g. a service product which falls within the scope of freedom of choice, to support the networking of small companies and to deepen the role of organisations in promoting well-being, EUR 0.8 million.
  • The city of Tampere: the use of a performance-based element incorporated into the compensation model for service providers and the use of a service voucher in further services, EUR 1.5 million
  • Joint municipal authority for healthcare and social welfare services (SOTE) in Upper Savo: a pilot in sparsely populated areas with a more limited range of services, EUR 1.5 million.

In addition, funding will be granted separately to implement changes or extensions that are necessary during the pilot phase.

When funding was not granted

Funding was not granted to the following: Joint municipal authority for healthcare and social welfare services (SOTE) in Southern Savo; the city of Helsinki; the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa; healthcare and social welfare services (SOTE) in Kainuu; the city of Pori; the city of Seinäjoki; the city of Vantaa.

The main reason for not granting funding was that the plans of proposed projects would have to be changed to such a degree that it is not realistic to launch and implement a pilot in the desired schedule.

Project plans will be specified shortly

Project plans will be specified and measures to launch them will be taken without delay by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and project representatives. Some of the tasks are common to all projects, some are project-specific and some are national. A key task when launching pilots is to implement the tasks needed to list service providers and select customers.

A common operation model and a necessary project organisation will be created for pilot projects. The opportunities and ways to participate which are offered to the pilot's interest groups are incorporated into the operation model. There will be more detailed information on this once the operation model has been decided on among the parties to the project.


Project Manager Minna Saario, tel. +358 2951 63146
Director Annakaisa Iivari, tel. +358 2951 63371
Senior Adviser Tiina Ahtiainen, tel. +358 2951 63676

Palvelusetelikokeilu (stm.fi) (In Finnish)

Millä perusteilla kokeiluihin valitut hankkeet valittiin? (YouTube) (In Finnish)

alueuudistus-arkisto hankeuutinen key projects sote-uudistus
creation related to information
freedom of choice
health services
service vouchers
social services