Health-care services brought to rural inhabitants on wheel

Health-care services brought to rural inhabitants on wheel

It is important that rural inhabitants have equal access to health-care services regardless of where they live. Certain municipalities in Finland suffer from a lack of physicians and nurses. The distance to a health centre can also be long.

“Mobile services and services provided at home will play an important role when new operating methods are being developed,” says Merja Tepponen, Chief Development Officer of South Karelia Social and Health Care District Eksote. Eksote uses a van to deliver social and health care services to areas where it is difficult to travel to a health centre.

Eksote was provided with funding from the Rural Development Programme, first for a preliminary survey and then for further implementation of the project.
“The project funding has functioned as a bridge-builder in planning. It has enabled us to take a bolder approach in taking the project forward,” Tepponen reports.


The route of the van was planned in such a manner that it reached the inhabitants of active villages when people were already on the move. A nurse familiar with the specific region travels with the van. The patients can make an appointment at their own health centre, but service is also provided without an appointment. The van features a wireless network connection, which provides access to the patient information system. Since the beginning, the van's equipment has been supplemented with dental care instruments. Local associations also have an opportunity to come and present their operations at the places where the van stops.

The Chief Development Officer of Eksote, Merja Tepponen, wants to develop the operations further
The Chief Development Officer of Eksote, Merja Tepponen, wants to develop the operations further