EQUAL SOCIAL AND HEALTH CARE SERVICES FOR EVERYONE
Why am I running for office? Life is not always fair for everybody. There are many reasons why life does not always go as planned and when the helping hand of society is needed.
Society helps citizens in various life situations. The welfare services are a key player in many of those. I am running because I want to make sure that the forthcoming health and social services reform (sote-uudistus) is carried out in an equal manner.
Every citizen uses welfare services at some point in their lives. When social and health services are needed, access to the service must not be a question of means. The most democratic way to finance services is taxation. Publicly produced services ensure that money is spent on services and it does not pass through tax havens into the pockets of a select few. The left emphasizes preventive measures. This is also important for the economy – preventive work saves tax money and means healthier citizens – children, young people, adults and the elderly – in the future.
SUPPORTING MENTAL HEALTH CARE PAYS OFF
Young people’s mental health problems have made headlines recently. Half of all mental disorders break out in adolescence. As many as one in four young people experience some issues with their mental health. Problems vary in degree: from anxiety to depression and bipolar disorder. Almost 90% of professionals say that the risk for young people to be marginalized has increased during Covid-19. 75% of young people feel that corona restrictions have reduced their mental well-being. (Source: Alliance) In addition to the risks caused by the pandemic, getting help is just too hard, and we are at risk of experiencing a similar complex of problems with mental health as during the recession of the 1990s.
Issues with mental health are the most common cause of early retirement. According to the OECD, mental health problems cost the Finnish state as much as 11 billion euros. If we allow young people’s mental health to collapse, it will also be seen in the future, e.g. as higher disability pension costs and higher costs in specialized care. Although mental health is a value in itself, mental health work also makes economic sense.
Indeed, the future regional commissioners now have a chance to deliver on their promises and make an impact. Let us make sure that the mistakes of the 1990s are not repeated. It must be ensured that preventive and low-threshold mental health services, a guarantee of therapy, uninterrupted chains of care, and adequately resourced school curatorial and psychological services are available to every young person in the future. Young people are the backbone of our future. We need to take care of them.
ART AND CULTURE INCREASES WELL BEING
According to a survey, over 80% of Finns want to see art in hospitals. According to the percentage principle, part of the budget for public buildings is spent on public art to be placed on the site to be built. In Oulu, the percentage principle has a long history. The future welfare area must therefore ensure that the percentage principle of art is still observed to acquire public art for new and refurbished hospitals and welfare facilities throughout the region.
Art and well-being also work together more broadly. Through art, well-being can be produced in many ways, also in social and health care services. Lääkärilehti (Medical Journal) has written a good article on the health effects of art and culture.
“There is a wealth of qualitative and quantitative research evidence on the health and well-being effects of art and culture. Art can relieve pain and reduce the need for medication. The meanings and definitions of well-being are culturally conditioned; Today, cultural policy and the economics of the arts are also being assessed in terms of their impact on well-being. The art of dealing with nausea, suffering, and pain can produce well-being and expand our perception of the normal. Art can be used in patient work, in supporting doctors’ well-being at work, and in medical training. ” (source: Lääkärilehti)
In the welfare area, care should be taken to ensure that part of the budget for social and health services is set aside for artistic and cultural content. With its own budget, it is possible to guarantee the development and implementation of welfare art services as part of a new entity. Cultural work based on volunteering should be abandoned and, in the future, welfare services should be provided professionally, utilizing the professional skills of wellness professionals.
In the new welfare area, art and culture must be widely deployed in preventive work, other social and health services, and construction through its own budget. Culture is one of life’s greatest joys, and it also has great potential for promoting health and well-being.
ABOUT VALUES IN POLITICS
The largest costs in health care come mainly from specialized medical care. Its need will increase if primary health care and preventive services are not good enough and the access to services is not easy enough. When we get primary health care and easy access preventive services in order, the need for special medical care will diminish in the future. However, the effects on economy and health over a longer period into the future often do not fit the shorter-term market economy perspective.
There is also a debate between private listed companies and publicly produced services. The problem for the private health sector, I think, is profit-making. When it comes to the basic needs in life, such as health and care, the pursuit of profit does not fit into the same context. In the care of the elderly, for example, the aim must be to provide a decent, high-quality and dignified life instead of making a profit.
What if the motivation for providing services was viewed through different values? Humanity, a good life, quality of service, respect for human dignity and the joy of helping, long-term well-being, and better economy for the future. It is often difficult to make these arguments heard in the middle of an economic debate based on quick profits.
We all use social and health care services during our lives, usually the most in the early and late stages of our lives. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that, in every situation of life and illness, life is equally dignified, regardless of one’s place of residence or financial status.
I am willing to promote a well-being county and a world that invests in humanity, equality, justice and lifelong well-being.