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Waiting times and customer satisfaction

The time within which you must get access to non-urgent care and treatment is laid down in law. Measuring customer experience provides us with information on the functionality of our services.
Photo: Laura Oja

The Finnish Health Care Act specifies the time within which you must get access to non-urgent care and treatment. This is called a treatment guarantee.  

  • You must be able to contact a health centre immediately during its opening hours. 
  • Once you have contacted a health centre, a healthcare professional must assess your need for treatment on the third subsequent weekday at the latest. 
  • Treatment must be provided to you at a health station within three months. 
  • Dental care must be provided to you within six months. 
  • If it is found during health examinations that you require hospital care, specialised healthcare services must assess your situation within three weeks of your case being referred to the hospital, and treatment must be provided to you within six months. 

If you require urgent treatment, you can go to an emergency service point for immediate first aid and treatment. 

Waiting times at the City of Helsinki’s services

Our health stations offer a callback service. In June 2022, the average time it took for us to call our clients back was 1 hour and 58 minutes. Due to different reporting methods, we have not been able to include callbacks from Kalasatama, Ruoholahti and Kivelä in the calculation of this average.

We usually assess the need for treatment immediately either by phone or in person at the location, which is why the waiting time for an assessment is less than three days. More than half of our clients who need a doctor's assessment will be assessed at the doctor's office on the same day. 

We use the ‘T3 indicator’ to monitor the wait for non-urgent doctor’s appointments. These waits are counted in calendar days, based on the third available appointment time slot. A health station’s T3 indicator is the median of these waiting times. The T3 measurement does not include urgent treatment or emergency reception. 

During the corona pandemic, the staff at Helsinki’s own health stations has frequently been moved to different tasks from the non-urgent customer care and that’s why we have been able to offer less non-urgent service than normal. This continues to weaken the T3 numbers for all health stations except Kannelmäki and Ruoholahti.

At the turn of the year 2021/2022, an operational change was carried out in Vuosaari where service processes were reformed. As a result, the T3 value for Vuosaari Health Station is not fully comparable with the values for other health stations. Instead of a doctor’s appointment, people are first given a non-urgent appointment with another health care professional, such as a nurse or physiotherapist. The T3 value for Vuosaari reflects this time. If a doctor is needed, the doctor’s assessment is carried out in connection with the visit to this other health care professional through multi-professional cooperation.

T3 waiting times in days for doctors at health stations
Health station 1 June 2022 4 July 2022 1 August 2022
Haaga 43 42 37
Jakomäki 16 29 11
Kalasatama 42 42 42
Kannelmäki* 22 19 25
Kivelä (former Töölö) 32 40 46
Kivikko 39 46 28
Kontula 34 45 33
Laajasalo 42 47 48
Lauttasaari 39 41 38
Malmi 43 29 32
Malminkartano 29 38 32
Maunula 40 33 36
Munkkiniemi 44 44 43
Myllypuro 49 51 47
Oulunkylä 20 31 29
Paloheinä 40 33 10
Pihlajamäki 22 30 38
Pitäjänmäki 35 38 37
Puistola 42 42 42
Ruoholahti* 1 3 2
Suutarila 35 22 32
Viiskulma 39 44 42
Vuosaari 90 90 32
Average 36 38 33

* = purchased service from 10/2021

 

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We generally assess our clients’ need for oral healthcare by phone. The waiting time for an assessment is less than three days. Once your need for treatment has been assessed, non-urgent treatment will be provided within three months.

The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on oral healthcare. We are currently working on clearing our treatment backlog in many ways. For many of our adult clients, we offer an opportunity to use a service voucher to pay for treatment at a private clinic.

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In the City of Helsinki’s specialised healthcare services, we generally start the assessment of the client’s need for treatment within three days of receiving the referral.

In April 2021, the median waiting time for internal medicine outpatient clinics was 36 days. Everyone generally received treatment within three months.

The median waiting time for psychiatric outpatient clinics was 37 days. Everyone generally received treatment in less than three months.

Most of the City of Helsinki’s specialised healthcare services are provided by the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS). See the HUS website for information on the waiting times for each specialist field.

Access to treatment in specialist medical care (HUS)

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We publish the information on the waiting times for services intended for the elderly three times a year. The waiting time starts when the elderly person submits a service application and ends when they receive the services they applied for. 

We monitor the waiting times for 24-hour care and day activities for the elderly.

  • In December 2021, the median waiting time for long-term 24-hour care was 32 days. Target time is 90 days at the maximum. 21 people had been waiting for the service over three months. In December 2021, 176 positive and 5 negative decisions were madeLong-term 24-hour care includes intensive assisted living services and care in a nursing home.  
  • In December 2021, the waiting time for day activities was 60 days (median). The target time is a maximum of 90 days. 86 people waited for the service for longer than three months. Between September and December 2021, 1602 positive and 2 negative decisions were made. 
    The day activity centres closed for part of 2021 due to the coronavirus.

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Customer satisfaction at health stations and dental clinics

We collect customer feedback through touch-screen feedback devices at our health stations and dental clinics. Measuring customer experience provides us with information on the functionality of our services, and we use the results to develop our operations. 

We monitor customer experience with the NPS indicator, for example. NPS (Net Promoter Score) describes the likelihood that customers would recommend our services to others. When the result is positive, the service has more promoters than detractors. 

You can find a chart showing monthly NPS results on the Finnish version of this page.