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Valvira and regional administration agencies can give administrative guidance to a health care professional or a health care executive if a patient’s complaint is found justified.
Guidance aims at a change of procedure in a similar situation and will be given according to severity of the medical error.
Consequences to single health care provider
As part of the provider’s administrative guidance Valvira may:
give an admonition
draw attention to correct conduct
express opinion of appropriate conduct
In addition, Valvira may give a written warning to a health care or medical professional or restrict the professional’s right to practice his/her profession. Valvira can also completely withdraw a professional’s right to practice her/his profession.
Withdrawal or restriction of professional practice rights usually stem from pharmacies or authorities reporting a potentially unprofessional conduct of a health care provider to Valvira.
Complaints lead only very seldom to other consequences than administrative guidance.
Consequences to health care or medical unit
Valvira and regional administration agencies can oblige the health care or medical unit to correct their inappropriate conduct. If necessary, the unit can be urged by imposing a penalty payment. In addition, Valvira may limit the health centre’s or hospital’s operation until inappropriate conduct has been corrected. Valvira can also entirely prohibit the facility from running.
Majority of complaints carry no consequence
Officials find no signs of inappropriate conduct in a majority of complaints processed at Valvira. Annually one out of four complaints processed at Valvira leads to some consequence described above.
Even though an appeal would not carry a reason for further action, merely processing the case afterwards can help to improve medical conduct in the unit the complaint concerns.
A complaint cannot change a diagnosis
Complaining cannot be used to change or overrule a diagnosis or a treatment decision made by a physician or a dentist. It cannot be used to change or overrule court orders or decisions made by other authorities.
With a complaint one cannot receive financial compensation. Please refer to the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre for possible compensation.
Language of decisions
Please note that all official decisions on complaints are given in Finnish or Swedish although in some cases an unofficial translation may be available.