What is this?
Medical Helpline 116117 is an advisory and guidance service for health care on duty services launched in September 2017 as a result of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s development project.
Currently Medical Helpline 116117 is a telephone service. In the future, the service will also be available as a digital channel. The service is intended for urgent, non-emergency situations, especially during on-call hours. In the event of an emergency always call 112.
Medical Helpline can provide advice on sudden health problems. A health care professional assesses the need for and urgency of treatment and directs the caller to the right service or provides instructions on how to treat the problem yourself. Medical Helpline also answers questions concerning children. A phone call to Medical Helpline 116117 is free of charge for the caller.
Who are involved in the cooperation?
Currently, Medical Helpline 116117 operates in 18 regions in Finland and 94 % of Finnish residents live in its area of application. Nearly all hospital districts intend to introduce the service in the next few years.
The development of Medical Helpline 116117 has been carried out from its very beginning in network-like cooperation between central government and regional actors. DigiFinland’s objective is to develop the service in a nationally uniform direction – in close cooperation with national and regional actors.
A development group has been compiled of representatives from regions and the Emergency Response Centre. The group is tasked with, among other things, considering joint national principles, quality and communications of the service and with supporting regional cooperation. Various national operators are working in close cooperation, including the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Emergency Response Centre.
What we do operate?
Medical Helpline 116117 procurement ring for calls connecting service
Contracts have been entered into with four operators for the regional coordination of calls to the Medical Helpline 116117 according to the caller’s location. A total of 18 hospital districts have joined the DigiFinland-established procurement ring for connecting of calls to the Medical helpline 116117. The hospital districts conclude a service contract in accordance with the framework agreement with the selected interconnection operator, if they wish to introduce the tendered connecting services. Tendering allowed for a significant discount on the cost of calls paid by hospital districts.
As part of the Medical Helpline 116117 service, DigiFinland also develops services for health care professionals.
The Hoidonperusteet.fi guidelines are intended for all healthcare professionals who assess the need for treatment. It contains the basics of urgent care by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in an easily accessible form, always up-to-date. The Hoidonperusteet.fi service will be launched in December 2021.
An online service for the use of on duty assistance professionals is also currently under development. The professional tool gathers information needed in the on duty assistance work in one place. In addition to the urgent treatment criteria, the handling of calls is supported by municipality-specific information on care facilities and regional practices for patient guidance.
The aim is to develop the service in a more nationally cohesive direction by means of national guidelines and online training. The service has been designed taking into consideration its usability to ensure that the service operates in fast-paced telephone work. The service will be introduced in 2022.
Medical helpline 116117 digital channel
The aim of the Medical Helpline’s digital channel for residents is to offer residents an alternative channel for using on duty services. For organisations, the digital channel makes using services more efficient. The aim is to increase the equality of residents by improving the availability and uniformity of services regardless of place of residence. The resident’s digital channel will be introduced in 2023.
Support for deployment
We support hospital districts, municipalities and welfare areas with the introduction of the telephone and digital services of Medical Helpline 116117 as well as its development, maintenance and change of operations. We also support regions in communications and produce national communication materials.
Expert panel on grounds for urgent care
The medical content of the national criteria for urgent care will also be maintained and complemented as part of the development of the Medical Helpline 116117 service. At the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, DigiFinland will act as the distributor and developer of urgent care criteria. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will be responsible for the strategic steering of the instructions.
Where are we currently?
The development of the Hoidonperusteet.fi service for all health care professionals is under way and the service will be launched in December 2021. A more extensive version of the service will be completed in 2022. In 2022, the professional tool for Medical Helpline will be introduced. Using services digitally will become more efficient in 2023 with the introduction of the resident’s digital channel.
Negotiations with regions outside the 116117 service are still ongoing.
Want to hear more?
Development Manager, Medical Helpline 116117
+ 358 50 365 5499