Complaints and the supervising authorities
A patient’s legal remedies include filing a complaint with the Regional State Administrative Agency or the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). The Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice also handle complaints. Regulatory supervision is conducted, for example, by the Consumer Ombudsman and the Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea.
Making a complaint to the supervising authorities may result in, for example, directing a healthcare professional to pay attention to an inadequacy, or an issue of an admonition or warning. The supervising authorities cannot revoke any decision concerning the patient’s treatment, nor can they award compensation.
The consequences of a complaint depend on the competence of each authority and on the facts that the investigation reveals.
If you are thinking of filing a complaint, familiarize yourself with the information and forms made available by the authorities.
Regional State Administrative Agencies and the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira)
Complaints made against health care professionals are handled regionally by Regional State Administrative Agencies and by Valvira.
The tasks of the Regional State Administrative Agencies and Valvira are partly parallel with regard to complaints.
Parliamentary Ombudsman or Chancellor of Justice
The Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice also handle complaints and supervise authorities and officials, such as general practitioners in the public sector, to ensure the legality of procedures and compliance with responsibilities.
Data Protection Ombudsman
Patients usually have the right to check their own patient records. If this right or the right to rectify entries have been denied on the basis of the Personal Data Act, the patient may refer the case to the Data Protection Ombudsman.
Consumer Ombudsman and the Consumer Agency
The Consumer Ombudsman supervises marketing directed at consumers, the quoting of prices for services in marketing, and the reasonableness of terms of agreement in general.
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the general planning, directing, and supervising of social and health care. The Ministry drafts legislation concerning healthcare and issues general rules and regulations relating to the activities of healthcare professionals.
Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea
The Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea’s main duties include authorisation and supervision tasks in the pharmaceuticals sector, research and development, and production and dissemination of information on medicinal products with a view to improving the effectiveness of pharmaceutical services and pharmacotherapy.
Fimea regulates pharmaceuticals and blood and tissue products and contributes to the development of the pharmaceuticals sector. Fimea gathers information from health care services on any harmful effects and dangerous situations that have been caused to patients by medicines. Fimea also monitors the compliance of medical devices with legislation and regulations and promotes their safe use