The Parliamentary Ombudsman Petri Jääskeläinen proposes to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health that it take the necessary legislative measures concerning FinnHEMS Oy, a state-owned company engaged in medical helicopter operations. The Ombudsman also considers it justified that the company's operations should comply with general administrative laws, such as the Language Act, before any legislative amendments are introduced.
The Ombudsman assessed the matter on his own initiative due to a complaint. The complaint criticised FinnHEMS Oy from the perspective of linguistic rights. The preliminary question was to determine the legal nature of the medical helicopter operations. The Ombudsman considered that this was a matter of carrying out a public administrative task referred to in the Constitution of Finland, in which case the general laws on administration apply to the company's operations.
FinnHEMS Oy's tasks are very closely linked to the public authorities to fulfil the obligations laid down in the Constitution and health care legislation. For this reason, it would be appropriate to lay down more detailed provisions on the company and the grounds and standing of its operations in the health care system and, in particular, emergency medical care.
FinnHEMS Oy's steering ownership belongs to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. In accordance with its articles of association, the company operates in the organisation and provision of urgent medical aerial services. The status of the company is currently based on the terms of the use of the money granted in connection with the funding decision by the State of Finland and on the cooperation agreement concluded with five university hospital districts as well as the obligations and responsibilities imposed on the company.
Parliamentary Ombudsman Petri Jääskeläinen's decision no 7308/2021 has been published (in Finnish) on the Parliamentary Ombudsman's website at www.oikeusasiamies.fi.
Further information is available from Principal Legal Adviser Mikko Sarja, tel. +358 9 432 3364.