The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is a research and development institute under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. THL seeks to serve the broader society in addition to the scientific community, actors in the field and decision-makers in central government and municipalities. The aim is to promote health and welfare in Finland.
More than a thousand experts in the health and welfare research fields and the social welfare and health care sectors carry out their work across Finland, with THL bases in Helsinki and six other Finnish cities.
The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is a research and development institute under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. THL is subject to the performance guidance of the Ministry. THL operations are governed by the relevant Act and Decree.
- To promote the welfare and health of the population
- To prevent diseases and social problems
- To develop social and health services
THL pursues and carries out its objectives by means of research, development activities, official tasks, steering through information as well as international co-operation. In its capacity as the statutory statistical authority for health and welfare, THL maintains and promotes the use of a strong knowledge base within the field.
THL’s statutory functions are
- to study and monitor the welfare and health of the population, the factors affecting and problems related to the welfare and health of the population, the prevalence of these problems and opportunities for preventing them;
- to develop and promote measures that further welfare and health and reduce welfare and health problems;
- to study, monitor, assess, develop and guide social welfare and health care activities;
- to provide expert assistance for the implementation of policies, procedures and practices that promote welfare and health;
- to engage in research and development work relevant to the field and to promote innovation, and put forward initiatives and proposals for developing social welfare and health care activities and services and for promoting the health and welfare of the population;
- to function as a statistical authority, to maintain data files and registers relevant to the field and to take care of the knowledge base of its field of activity and the utilisation of that knowledge base;
- perform duties concerned with forensic medicine and forensic psychiatry as provided separately;
- assume responsibility for the planning, management and monitoring of electronic processing of social welfare and health care client data and associated information, and implementation and use of national information systems in the sector;
- to develop and maintain key terminology, definitions and classifications related to the social welfare and health care sector; and
- to engage in international co-operation within its sphere of activity.
Functions defined by decree:
- to function as an expert authority in matters concerning social welfare, special care of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, public health, specialised health care, mental health work, infectious diseases, environmental health and gene technology, and other matters related to the Institute's sphere of activity
- to take charge of matters concerning state mental hospitals and social welfare units, and granting assistance as referred to in the Decree on war evacuees' social welfare (376/1942), as separately provided
- to ensure Finnish vaccine supplies and monitor the quality of vaccines and comparable products used in Finland.