The Finnish Student Health Service’ (FSHS) health care fee will be increased by 10 euros from 1st August 2015. From the academic year of 2015–2016 onwards the fee will be 54 euros per student. The student unions pay the health care fee for each student who is registered as being present, and the students participate in financing the FSHS by paying the student union’s membership fee. This insurance-like health care fee gives the students the right to use the FSHS’ services.
This increase is a large one, which is a shame. The reason behind the increase is that the Council of State has halved the subsidies paid to the FSHS by the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoE). Reducing these subsidies would reduce the FSHS’ funding by 10%, and it would greatly influence the services offered by the FSHS. To avoid weakened services, both the students and the city councils will increase their share of the FSHS’ funding.
The aim of the fee increase is to maintain the high quality and extensiveness of the FSHS’ services. Together, the student unions decided that their share of the FSHS’ funding can be increased to avoid weakening the students’ health care services.
Through the increase in the health care fees and the increase in appointment fees that will be carried out at the beginning of 2015, cuts to services provided by the FSHS can be avoided, and the reduction in the subsidies from the MoE should not be visible in the amount or quality of services received by the students.
The student union pays the health care fee for each student automatically and collects their membership fees in the usual way, so the increase does not require students to take any special measures.
In addition, The Representative Council for the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland (ISYY) proposed an index increase of 2 euros in the membership fee. That means that the membership fee will rise all in all with 12 euros and it will be 125 euros (full academic year). The Student Union membership fee will be confirmed by the rector of the University of Eastern Finland.
Health care services for university students are organised by the FSHS. The FSHS receives its funding from four sources: the Social Insurance Institution, the students, the local city council and the MoE. A reduction in the share of funding provided by one source will inevitably affect the other sources’ shares, or alternatively weaken the level of service provided. The maximum level of funding provided by the Social Insurance Institution is defined by law.