Starting from 1 January 2021, students using the services of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) will be charged a mandatory healthcare fee of approximately 77 euros per academic year. In the future, no appointment fees will be charged for using FSHS services.
The Parliament of Finland passed the act on healthcare for university students (HE 145/2018 vp) on 1 March 2019. The new law on healthcare for university students will come into force on 1 January 2021. With this change, degree students of universities of applied sciences, including master’s degree students, will also be entitled to use the services of the FSHS. According to the law, all university degree students registered as present are entitled to use the services of the FSHS.
According to the law, Kela will organise healthcare services for university students and collect healthcare fees. In the future, the FSHS healthcare fee will be clearly separated from the Student Union membership fee. The FSHS will continue to provide student healthcare services.
After the changes, FSHS operations will be partially funded with state funds and partially with a healthcare fee charged from students. 77% of FSHS’s funding will be provided by the state and 23% by healthcare fees charged from students. When the changes come into force, the size of the healthcare fee will be approximately 77 euros per student according to the estimate of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The size of the healthcare fee will be verified annually .
The healthcare fee will be paid in two installments during the year: half at the beginning of the fall semester and half during the spring semester. After the changes, healthcare fees will no longer be collected in conjunction with the Student Union membership fee. All university students registered as present are obliged to pay the healthcare fee.
After the changes, student healthcare services will be covered by the mandatory tax-like healthcare fee. Tax-like means that if a student fails to pay the healthcare fee, it may be deducted from the student’s study grant. Appointment fees will no longer be charged for using the services.
FSHS services will include primary healthcare services, including mental health and oral health services.
When the law takes effect, specialist services will no longer be offered by the FSHS. In the future, the specialist services offered by the FSHS will be provided by general practitioners or through referrals.
All non-degree students will be excluded from services provided by the FSHS. This applies to international exchange students who will not complete their degrees in Finland.
Just as before, doctoral and licentiate students will be referred to municipal healthcare.
Mikko Aaltonen, Specialist of Academic and Social Affairs (Kuopio), the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland, tel. +358 (0) 44 576 8414, koso@isyy.
Pekka Koivaara, Specialist for Interest Advocacy (Joensuu), the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland, tel. +358 (0) 44 576 8465, firstname.lastname@example.org
Finlex.fi: Laki korkeakouluopiskelijoiden opiskeluterveydenhuollosta (the act on healthcare for university students in Finnish)
YTHS.fi/en: FSHS Act passed - preparations for future expansion will start immediately (1 March 2019)
Kela.fi/en: Health services for students in higher education: Kela takes on new responsibilities (1 March 2019)