Private health care licences
Private health care licences
Private health care service providers must acquire a licence to provide health care services from a licensing authority. The licence administration is a form of advance control, intended to ensure that service providers have the capability to provide good care while ensuring patient and client safety. A service provider may be a corporation (limited liability company, limited partnership or general partnership), a cooperative, a foundation or an association. Any service provider wishing to apply for a licence must have a Finnish business ID.
The criteria for granting a health care licence include:
- the number and qualifications of personnel required for the proposed activities
- premises and equipment consistent with the proposed activities, inspected and approved
- a director responsible for health care services who has the appropriate training, the right to practice a relevant profession and work experience
- activities that are medically appropriate and conducive to patient safety
Health care services
Health care services include but are not limited to the following:
- examinations and procedures performed in order to analyse the state of a patient’s health, to diagnose an illness or to determine treatment
- laboratory activities
- radiology activities
- therapeutic activities
- occupational health care
- physician and nurse services
- oral health care services
- services of a certified massage therapist
- prehospital care services
Health care services may only be provided by health care professionals. For more on health care services provided remotely, see Telemedicine services (valvira.fi)
Where to apply for a licence
For service providers operating in the territory of two or more Regional State Administrative Agencies, licences are granted by Valvira. For service providers operating in the territory of only one Regional State Administrative Agency, licences are granted by that Regional State Administrative Agency (avi.fi). A list of the municipalities in the territory of each Regional State Administrative Agency can be found on their website (avi.fi).
If you intend to start practising as a self-employed health care professional (private entrepreneur), you must submit a notification to your local Regional State Administrative Agency (avi.fi).
We recommend that you apply using the online service. The online service is intended both for service providers licensed by the Regional State Administrative Agencies and for those licensed by Valvira. The online service will direct your application to the competent licensing authority. You may also submit your licence application on paper.
The application form must be filled out in Finnish or Swedish. For further instructions on how to apply and on the appendices required, see the Valvira website (in Finnish/Swedish).
You must not begin providing services until you have been issued a licence.
Providing private health care services for residents in Finland is subject to a licence issued by the licensing authorities. You must not begin providing services until you have been issued a licence for your activities. Practising without a licence is a punishable offence under chapter 44 section 3 of the Criminal Code (39/1889, as amended 400/2002).
Changes and notifications regarding your licence
Service providers must notify the licensing authorities of any changes in their activities by submitting an amendment application or notification.
You must apply for an amendment to your licence in circumstances such as the following:
- you intend to begin to provide services at a new location (adding a new location or relocating to new premises)
- you intend to make any other substantial change to your premises
- adding new areas of service
- replacement of the director responsible for health care services
The following are matters that only require a notification, which is free of charge:
- changes in the basic details of the enterprise
- notification of discontinuation of operations
- addition of further municipalities in which services are provided
- change of name of the service provider or of the operating location
- replacement of a patient ombudsman