Application of the patient insurance legislation
The Patient Injuries Act and the Patient Insurance Act can be applied to a case of injury if the case meets the preconditions set for the application of the Act. The preconditions for the application of the Act are
- A patient has sustained a bodily injury, such as an illness, disability or other temporary or permanent weakening of health that can be objectively ascertained, or loss of life.
- The patient’s injury was sustained in connection with medical treatment or health care received in a hospital, healthcare centre, or a private health clinic, or 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, a medical doctor, a dentist, a nurse, a physiotherapist or a registered naprapath.
- 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.
- 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 a notice of injury must not have expired. The notice of injury must be filed with the Patient Insurance Centre within three years of the date when the injured party first knew, or should have known, of the injury.
- The injury occurred within the geographical area of Finland. From the beginning of 2021, the new Patient Insurance Act will be applied not only to health and medical care provided in Finland, but also to health and medical care provided abroad, if a public healthcare unit has arranged treatment abroad and it is necessary for ensuring the patient’s health. The Patient Insurance Act does not apply to situations where a patient goes abroad to be examined or treated independently.
If these preconditions are met, the Patient Insurance Centre assesses whether the injury is compensable and on what grounds the injury will be compensated. The patient insurance legislation includes eight grounds for granting compensation.