At the end of 2010, Helsinki had approximately 589,000 residents, which was over 5,000 more than a year earlier. The population increased because of immigration, domestic migration from other regions in Finland and a higher birth rate. At the end of 2010, approximately 6% of the population was Swedish-speaking, and approximately 11% spoke a language other than Finnish or Swedish as their first language.
The challenge: Health differences between demographic groups
On average, residents of Helsinki are healthier than Finns as a whole. Despite this, the average life expectancy in Helsinki is shorter than the Finnish average. Men have an average life expectancy of 75.4 years and women 82.4 years in Helsinki. In addition to gender, significant differences in life expectancy and morbidity can be detected between districts and social groups. Some districts of Helsinki have very healthy residents, while in some districts morbidity is over the Finnish average. The areas of high morbidity almost invariably have unemployment rates above the Helsinki average, a lower ratio of residents with academic training and lower average income. The challenge faced by health services in Helsinki now is how to tackle the health differences between demographic groups that have increased from the 1990s.
Most of the population used health centre services
Health care services provided and produced by the City of Helsinki were used by 74% of the population in 2010. The number of users increased from the previous year by 11,000 people. The greatest individual factor contributing to the increase was the swine influenza vaccination campaign performed during the first part of the year.
In addition to inhabitants of Helsinki, services provided by health centres were used by 26,000 non-residents. The number of non-residents using the services increased from the previous year by 27% because inhabitants of the metropolitan region outside Helsinki have since 1 April 2010 had the option of using any on-call health centre in the metropolitan region during evenings, weekends and public holidays. The option of using on-call health services across municipal borders brought new patients especially to Haartman Hospital and the children's on-call health centre of the Children's Hospital. Since autumn 2009, Haartman Hospital has also been home to the emergency dental service available for all residents of the metropolitan area. 37% of its customers were non-residents.