When the coronavirus pandemic started in spring, a notable proportion of the City’s resources had to be allocated to managing the pandemic. This has generated some service debt for social welfare and healthcare services.
“The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed clients’ appointments, for example,” says Head of Department Juha Jolkkonen.
“As the situation evened out during the course of summer, we reallocated our resources while still keeping the pandemic in mind. We will continue to shorten the queues in August and during the autumn, as quickly as possible while still managing the coronavirus pandemic.”
“We are prepared to manage the potential second coronavirus wave. We can quickly reallocate resources from non-urgent services to coronavirus services, when necessary. At the same time, the social welfare and healthcare services will continue to work together reliably. Good management of the coronavirus pandemic is the City of Helsinki’s number one priority,” Jolkkonen continues.
Health stations open as normal
The health stations are open and you do not need to cancel any booked appointments. You should not postpone seeking treatment due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is safe to visit the health services.
Non-urgent dental care will be increased gradually
Some dental clinics have been closed due to the pandemic. However, urgent and necessary dental care have been provided throughout the pandemic.
The closed clinics will be opened during August, as planned. The queues that have formed during the coronavirus pandemic will be shortened as far as is possible, for example through extra work.
Visiting a dental clinic is safe for all Helsinki residents. The special measures carried out to protect the clients and the personnel will still prolong the phone calls with clients as well as the appointments.
Special attention will be paid to functional abilities of the elderly and disabled clients
Clients of home care and round-the-clock care will now require special care, as group activities and rehabilitation groups, for example, are currently on a break due to the pandemic. We will increase short-term care in a controlled manner and restart smaller groups as possible.
Many informal carers in Helsinki have had a hard time during the pandemic. Gradual reopening of short-term care will support informal care families and we encourage them to accept the services offered by the City. These services are safe to use.
The coronavirus pandemic has also affected the disability services. Due to the situation, many informal carers have not been able to take the days off that they are entitled to. Due to this, a new temporary care unit is under preparation. The virtual day activities of disability services are also being developed.
Senior Info will soon start senior help desk (seniorilaituri) operations in Kalasatama and Vuosaari.
Family services have also been offered remotely during the special circumstances
Some services, such as children’s medical examinations and couples therapy, have been postponed to the autumn, which may result in a longer waiting time for some clients.
Maternity and child health clinics have not been able to continue the family guidance groups or carry out all the children's scheduled check-ups.
They have attempted to manage the situation by uploading the entire family guidance materials online and by inviting children to vaccination appointments during the summer. More public health nurses will be hired for Helsinki’s maternity and child health clinics for the rest of the year.
Decrease in child welfare notifications
Some of the support needs of children and families have not been identified due to the coronavirus pandemic. The services for children and families are working actively to be able to identify any threats to well-being caused by the pandemic and to work to counter them.