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Monday's papers: Shrinking public funding for private services, Finnish Covid rates, and tram ticket cheats

Domestic media explores how Finland is stretching its public finances, among other topics.

Näöntarkastus silmälääkärin vastaanotolla.
Finland is redirecting funds from private healthcare to public health services, writes Iltalehti. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Kela subsidies for private healthcare may soon be history, writes Iltalehti.

The tabloid maintains that the government has already set Finland on course to stop subsidising private care. IL notes that the budget framework hammered out in 2020 aims to slash 40 million euros from private health subsidies starting in 2023.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin's (SDP) centre-left cabinet argues that savings in this area would help public healthcare hire more nurses.

Today Kela reimburses 16 euros for a 110-euro visit to a private doctor.

Government-commissioned studies have shown that reducing Kela reimbursements has not significantly increased the uptake of public services, according to the tabloid.

Star pupil?

Finland has had the lowest proportional incidence of positive coronavirus test samples in Europe during the pandemic, reports Helsingin Sanomat, which drew on figures compiled by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Our World in Data, an open access online publication.

Since the spring of 2020, some 2.6 percent of Finnish residents have tested positive for Covid. This is the lowest infection rate among the 45 countries included in the study.

HS suggests that Finland's relative success stems from the timing of Covid mitigation efforts, the progression of the vaccination rollout and the economy's moderate health during the pandemic.

Fare evasion

Helsinki Region Transport’s (HSL) plan to upgrade its smartcard readers is Hufvudstadsbladet's top-read story on Monday morning. The new machines will be able to read payment cards in addition to mobile app QR codes

The upgraded technology targets transit system fraud, according to the Swedish-language daily.

Cases have emerged of teenagers sharing static QR code tickets with each other—something more difficult to achieve with the introduction of dynamic codes.

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