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Thursday's papers: Sote next steps, drunk scooter riders, Midsummer menus

Thursday's papers look into the future of social and healthcare services, e-scooter injuries and the tastes of Midsummer.

Sähköpotkulauta hylättynä keskelle päärautatieaseman asemalaiturialuetta
Please don't ride scooters while drunk, you may get hurt. Image: Laura Hyyti / Yle
Yle News

Following yesterday's historic vote in Parliament, the plan to reform Finland's social and healthcare services, known as Sote, was finally approved. It was a process that has frustrated successive governments over the past decade.

Now the vote is over, Thursday's Helsingin Sanomat asks what happens next.

"For the average person in Finland, for example a health centre customer, hardly anything at first," the paper writes. The first noticeable event will be elections to the 21 newly-created regional authorities in January next year.

Responsibility for organising health and welfare services won't actually be transferred to those new authorities until 2023, HS reports. It'll be a big move, as IT systems and staff transfer over to new employers.

"Administrators and the people carrying out the changes are facing a pretty big task in a lot of places to have everything ready by then," Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen, researcher and associate professor at the University of Tampere, told the paper.

Authorities in Pirkanmaa – set to become the country's largest Sote region – have started work on facilitating the shift, HS writes, with the region's transition administration already in place.

"Since February, we have stepped up the pace and started to prepare for the possibility that this reform might not fall through," Jaakko Herala, who is in charge of Pirkanmaa's Sote transition, told HS.

Drunk scootering frustrates doctors

Too many people are falling off electric scooters while drunk.

That's what doctors at Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) have told Iltalehti. The tabloid reports that the recent warm weather and improved coronavirus situation have led to a rise in drunken young people injuring themselves on the rental scooters that dot Helsinki's streets.

"We have prohibited this in our terms of use, and legally the same rules apply to scooters as to bicycles. As such, we cannot control them and that is a matter for the authorities. To raise awareness, we have introduced a reaction test in our app, among other things," Reetta Alastalo from e-scooter rental firm Voi told the paper.

According to Iltalehti, Voi has also organised events where people have been able to try driving with glasses that simulate drunkenness.

"After the experience, many people have concluded that it is not worth trying it in real life," Alastalo told the paper.

Numbers from HUS reveal that a single Helsinki A&E department treated as many as 143 people injured in electric scooter accidents between May and June this year.

"During the weekend of 19-20 June 2021, 25 percent of the minor trauma patients admitted to the Meilahti emergency department were injured in an e-scooter accident," HUS doctor Kustaa Lehtonen said in a press release.

The changing tastes of Midsummer

With Midsummer just around the corner, the newspaper of rural Finland, Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, looks at what we'll be eating over the holiday weekend.

According to MT, the old classics are still popular, with sausages and potatoes flying off the shelves.

"In June alone, more than 1.5 million kilos of Finnish new potatoes are sold in K-Market food stores," Kesko Group's Harri Hovi told the paper.

While most people in Finland will still be grilling sausages this year, the sausages have changed. According to Kesko sales data, sales of sausages made from chicken have increased by 42 percent over the past year, while sales of vegetarian sausages have risen by a staggering 303 percent, Maaseudun Tulevaisuus writes.

One newcomer to the Midsummer table is pizza. According to K-Market figures, sales of pizza bases are up 48 percent while pizza flour is up 70 percent.

While many people will associate Midsummer with beer, sales of non-alcoholic drinks have risen significantly. S-Group data shows their sales increased by 30 percent in the Midsummer week last year, compared to the previous year.

Yle's paper review will return after the summer break. In the meantime, hyvää juhannusta – happy Midsummer!

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