The strategy goals of the National Institute for Health and Welfare for 2011-2020 are:
- Improvements in public health, functional capacity and welfare
- Reduced health and welfare inequalities
- Capacity to prevent global and national threats to health and welfare to be maintained at a high level
- The needs of the population and society efficiently served by the social welfare and health care services
- Data resources in the field of social welfare and health care are applied extensively in promoting health and welfare and the functioning of the service system
- Health and welfare issues exerting a powerful impact on decision-making at different levels
1. Improvements in public health, functional capacity and welfare
Preventing public health threats and ensuring welfare are as essential as ever in the 2010s. This will also help people stay at work for longer. It is important to understand the physical, psychological and social factors which contribute to diseases, functional capacity and welfare.
- THL identifies changes in public health, work ability and functional capacity, as well as the factors that underlie these changes.
- THL benefits from a growing body of knowledge on the mechanisms and risk factors behind public health threats and social inequality. In its work, it uses this knowledge to prevent diseases, improve the population's functional capacity and promote social equality. In this way, THL will exert an influence on the social and physical environment of the general public and help people remain in work for longer.
2. Reduced health and welfare inequalities
Health and welfare inequalities between population groups and regions are threatening to grow in the 2010s. The background factors underlying these inequalities - for instance differences in living conditions or access to services between different population groups - have an impact that begins in childhood and extends to people of working age and older.
- THL provides information, compares policy alternatives and proposes operating models for the improvement of health and welfare in all population groups. Particular attention is focused on measures to reduce poverty and on the provision of adequate basic security and minimum income security.
- THL reduces health and welfare inequalities by promoting services for the population as a whole.
- In reducing inequalities, THL takes into account vulnerable groups, particularly families, children and young people.
3. Capacity to prevent global and national threats to health and welfare to be maintained at a high level
In the 2010s, prevention of infectious diseases and environmental health threats, not least climate change, will demand even more attention than up till now.
The social and health-related consequences of globalisation will demand action and preparedness in all sectors.
- THL has taken adequate precautions against biological and environmental threats to the population. THL is responsible for long-term public health protection.
- THL contributes to mitigating those global threats that have relevance to health and welfare in Finland, to social sustainability, and to population group differences.
4. The needs of the population and society efficiently served by the social welfare and health care services
The cornerstones for improving health and welfare in Finland include social welfare and health services that are efficient, effective and available to all on equal terms. In the 2010s, there will be an emphasis on the functional and economic sustainability of services and of the service system as a whole.
- THL provides up-to-date overviews of the service system, its structure and functioning, and also alternative solutions for improving access to services and for strengthening innovations.
- THL promotes the effectiveness of services by providing information on their current state and by expanding examination of cost effectiveness to the core social welfare and health care services.
- THL promotes improvement of information management within the social welfare and health care services and engages in collaboration to ensure application of the results in the service system.
5. Data resources in the field of social welfare and health care are applied extensively in promoting health and welfare and the functioning of the service system
Finland's highly developed data and biological sample resources offer growing opportunities for supporting health and welfare and for conducting research. In the 2010s, expanding ICT capacity and developing analytical methods in various sectors will augment the potential even further.
- The information produced and compiled by THL is openly and freely available and efficiently used.
- Products and materials based upon THL data resources are up to date and of a high quality, while also corresponding to client needs.
6. Health and welfare issues exerting a powerful impact on decision-making at different levels
Knowledge-based operations are one of the key ideas in social welfare and health care policy. Health and welfare depend on decision-making in different sectors of society. In the 2010s, the different policy areas and their information needs will become even more intertwined than they are at present. Information also has an impact on the action taken by individual citizens to promote their own health and welfare.
- THL expertise and information produced by THL are used in national, regional and municipal decision-making, influencing public debate in various sectors of Finnish society.
- THL bolsters the use of its information and expertise so as to ensure socially sustainable development and in support of individual citizens' efforts to improve their own health and welfare.
- THL draws on extensive international co-operation in its work to promote health and welfare in Finland, and supports global advances in the field.