Valvira reached its goal and developed its operations in 2021
In 2021, Valvira was able to reach the performance target rather well despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Urgent supervision tasks were successfully processed and systematic supervision mainly in line with the supervision programmes. In specialised care, Valvira continued to monitor access to non-urgent care and investigated seven hospital districts. Several extensive organisational supervision tasks were successfully completed. With regard to supervision related to Covid-19, Valvira continued to maintain an up-to-date overview of the national situation.
The number of decisions concerning the professional practice rights of social and health care professionals continued to decline. A decline of nearly 12% was due particularly to the decrease of applications for a protected occupational title of a practical nurse. 6,169 practical nurses were registered for health care, which is 22% less than in the previous year. 5,450 practical nurses were registered for social welfare, which is 27% less than in the previous year. Practical nurses can register both as health care or social welfare professionals. The number of applications for other professional practice rights in the field of health care also decreased compared to last year. 4,145 nurses were licensed, with a decline of 6%. The decrease in the number of applications for licensing and a protected occupational title is a phenomenon of concern. The total number of licences issued to physicians exceeded for the first time the threshold of one thousand, amounting to 1,001 licensed physicians. A total of 16,680 decisions on professional rights were made.
Valvira’s key objective is to develop knowledge-based risk assessment to be able to target supervision as effectively as possible. This work was promoted by the extensive Toivo Programme of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in which Valvira actively participates.
More emphasis was placed on communication to support the effectiveness of supervision. Systematic communication was used to support, for example, dialogue between supervisory authorities, preparation of nationally harmonised practices and solutions as well as operation in accordance with regulations and policies in social and health care units.
Valvira continued to develop the digital services, and more services are available digitally, such as services related to professional practice rights. Nearly 90% of applications for professional practice rights were received electronically. In addition, the amount of open data increased, and Valvira completed extensive definitions for the development of the alcohol trade register.
In 2021, Valvira set a new record with 172 inspections related to the alcohol trade. Due to the pandemic, on-the-spot inspections had to be put on hold for part of the year, but physical inspections were supplemented with remote inspections.
Implementation of the national supervision programme for the Tobacco Act was continued with emphasis on the prevention of illegal trade and collaboration between authorities. For municipal health protection authorities, Valvira prepared guidelines for assessing the impact of traffic projects on the living environment. This helped to promote a healthy living environment and cooperation in line with the national supervision programme for health protection.
In 2021, the Regional State Administrative Agencies and Valvira launched a project called “Hyvinvointialueiden valvonnan suunnittelu ja kehittäminen” (Design and development of wellbeing services counties) with the aim of preparing for the implementation of Acts on the supervision of social and health services when the wellbeing services counties start operating. This project supports preparation of the wellbeing services counties for the supervisory task included in their responsibility for organising services.
The transformation project of the National Committee on Medical Research Ethics (Tukija) operating in connection with Valvira was completed in schedule. As a result of close cooperation in 2021, the new EU portal was put into operation on 31 January 2022. This EU portal is maintained by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and it is used for submitting and processing clinical trials. At the same time, the new Tukija and its Appeals division started operations.
Valvira participated in a working group established by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to examine the possibility of rearranging the licensing, guidance and supervisory tasks of the social and health sector. In the final report, the working group proposed that the above tasks should be concentrated in a national supervisory agency for social and health services. The tasks of this new agency would entail all Valvira's current tasks and the tasks of the Regional State Administrative Agencies related to basic public services, legal protection and licenses guided by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Valvira supports the proposition of the working group. Restructuring would harmonise the supervision of social and health services and promote more effective use of the resources of Valvira and the Regional State Administrative Agencies. The collaboration between Valvira and the Regional State Administrative Agencies has remained close and fruitful within the current framework.
For more information, please contact:
Director General Markus Henriksson, +358 295 209 300
Director Helena Mönttinen, Department for Social Welfare and Health Care, tel. +358 (0)295 209 404
Director Jussi Holmalahti, Department for Health, Legal Rights and Product Safety, tel. +358 (0)295 209 500