If you suspect a patient injury has occurred, you do not have to fill in the injury notification right away; instead talk first with the physician who treated you or some other member of care personnel. Many claims arise from uncertainty about factors affecting to the illness, injury or treatment. The fastest way to clarify such matters is to discuss the problems with medical personnel. Based on the discussion, you can still file a patient injury notification, if you still suspect that a patient injury has occurred.

The injury notification must be filed within three years of the date when the injured party learned of the injury. Exceptions to this rule are made only for a specific reason. It is not necessarily worthwhile to file an injury notification immediately on the appearance of the symptoms, since information on the further development of your condition may be relevant for the handling of the claim. This is especially true with infections.

How to recognize a patient injury: Start by checking whether the preconditions of patient injury are met in your case.

The Patient Injuries Act (Potilasvahinkolaki 585/1986) can be applied, if the following five preconditions are met:

  1. A patient has sustained a bodily injury (illness, disability or other temporary or permanent weakening of health that can be objectively ascertained, or loss of life)
  2. The patient's injury was sustained in connection with medical treatment or health care (for example, treatment given in a hospital, health care centre, or a private health clinic, during transfer of patients by ambulance, taking a sample, rehabilitation, physical therapy, or the delivery of prescription drugs from a pharmacy.) Moreover, care or treatment given outside medical institutions may also be covered by the insurance if the treatment is performed by a medical professional (for example, medical doctor, dentist, nurse, physiotherapist, registered naprapath, etc. Check the comprehensive list on the website of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira). See exceptions.
  3. The injured party must be a patient, in other words, a person being examined or treated (a healthy person taking part in medical research or a donor of blood or tissue are also considered to be patients referred to in the Patient Injuries Act in the legal sense.)
  4. The injury occurred while the Patient Injuries Act was in force, in other words, on 1 May 1987 or after. (In addition, the limitation period for filing an injury notification must not have expired.)
  5. The injury occurred within the geographical area of Finland.

If these five preconditions are fulfilled, the compensability of the injury can be evaluated on the basis of different compensation criteria. More detailed information about the compensation criteria is available in the What is covered section.

You should take into account the compensation out of patient insurance will not be paid if you are unhappy with your treatment as a patient or a family member. If you feel that you have been unfairly treated and wish to give feedback to the healthcare provider, you will be able to do so through different channels. More information is available in section Patient rights.

After discussing your case with the Patient Ombudsman or care personnel or after you have otherwise reached the conclusion that a patient injury may have occurred to you, you may file an injury notification with the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre. If you need help with the form, you may contact the Patient Ombudsman or a social worker from the treating institution. More detailed information is available in section Seeking compensation and the actual form is available here.

It is usually easiest to clarify issues relating to treatment or illnesses with the treating doctor or other representatives of the medical staff. Consequently, you should not contact the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre about disagreements related to the treatment, since they are best resolved with the help of care personnel and the Patient Ombudsman. If based on these discussions, there is cause to suspect that a patient injury has occurred, you can contact the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre.

If you have not been examined or treated within the time prescribed by law, contact the healthcare provider responsible for arranging the treatment. In these cases, it will be possible to claim compensation from patient insurance or the party providing the treatment for costs incurred by seeking treatment in the private sector.

If you have questions concerning treatment costs, such as the effects of reaching the cost cap, you must resolve them with the healthcare providers. Clarifying issues related to treatment costs and compensations for them are not within the sphere of patient insurance.