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In Finland, the state's responsibility to promote welfare, health and security is rooted in the Constitution. This enshrines the right of everyone to income and to care, if they are unable to manage adequately.

The Constitution of Finland 731/1999 (Finlex)

The duties of municipal authorities throughout Finland to arrange social and health care are stipulated by laws on social and health care planning and the central government transfers to local government.

The law on social welfare stipulates the services that municipalities must produce.

Social Welfare Act 710/1982 (Finlex)

The law on the status and rights of social care clients includes issues of data security.

Special legislation covers

  • child welfare
  • child day care
  • the treatment of substance abusers
  • the special care of people with intellectual disabilities
  • disability services
  • informal care support
  • family care
  • rehabilitation
  • older people.

Child Welfare Act 417/2007 (Finlex)
Family Carer Act 312/1992 (Finlex) Act on Supporting the Functional Capacity of the Older Population and on Social and Health Services for Older Persons (Finlex) 

There are laws also dealing with ascertaining paternity, child maintenance and security, child care and implementing rights of access, adoption counselling, and family conciliation matters.

Adoption Act 153/1985 (Finlex)
Marriage Act 234/1929 (Finlex)
Social Welfare Act 710/1982 (Finlex)

Laws on health care, primary health care and specialized medical care cover health services.

Health Care Act 1326/2010 (pdf, 96 kB) Primary Health Care Act 66/1972 (Finlex)
Act on Specialized Medical Care 1062/1989 (Finlex)

There are separate laws on occupational health care, mental health services and the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, and the status and rights of patients.

Occupational Health Care Act 1383/2001 (Finlex)
Mental Health Act 1116/1990 (Finlex)
Communicable Diseases Decree 786/1986 (Finlex)
Act on the Status and Rights of Patients 785/1992 (Finlex)

Legislation also covers the professional standards of social and health care personnel.

Act on Qualification Requirements for Social Welfare Professionals 272/2005 (Finlex) Act on Health Care Professionals 559/1994 (Finlex)