The City Council of Helsinki approved in its more than seven-hour meeting on 29 November. Veronika Honkasalo’s initiative to extend the social and health services of the so-called paperless people after the vote. The House of Commons was in the process of voting at about 100 speakers.
The decision means that people without papers will have the right in Helsinki, for example, to treat chronic illnesses and vaccinations. At present, the paperless have the right to emergency health services such as first aid.
The Helsinki Declaration of the municipality is fully readable on this link (in finnish). This is case number 22.
At its meeting last week, the Helsinki municipality added a new paragraph proposed by Sanna Vesikansa and Paavo Arhinmäki regarding Veronika Honkasalo’s initiative. The initiative reads as follows:
”The city government states that the needless to care and livelihood are guaranteed to the paperless. Essential care and livelihood include at least the necessary medical prescription drugs, accommodation and food. The right to urgent medical treatment in public health is determined by Section 50 of the Health Care Act. In addition to urgent care, the city will ensure the care, medication and follow-up of necessary illnesses, and vaccinations and oral health care to the same extent as asylum seekers.
Pregnant and families with children 0 to 2 years of age will be given the option of a longer-term crisis. If necessary, funding can be increased for emergency accommodation on unallocated funds so that the necessary conditions for human life, as guaranteed by the Constitution, will also be realized for the paperless.
The need for each assistance is assessed and social and health care professionals support the paperless to find more sustainable solutions and paths out of the intermediate space to which the paperlessness of a person leads. The meetings will pay particular attention to the emergence of trust and the provision of psychosocial support. Paperless healthcare takes place primarily in the city’s own health centers or, if necessary, in specialist health care. In some situations, a person can also be directed to services organized by organizations. Also in other reception work, the need for and the implementation of mental health services is clarified for the paperless. Insolvency must not be an obstacle to obtaining services.
Paperless people are offered a free legal counseling service by obtaining it through organizational grants from a third sector. Increase the training of the child protection authorities and the entire social and healthcare staff on the situation of the paperless and, in particular, the rights of the paperless children and the obligation of secrecy relating to the status of children. The city will find out how well the amount of social assistance granted to paperless persons corresponds to the real need.
Helsinki also ensures that the city’s website provides sufficient information about the paperless right to services and the contact information for services in many languages, such as Arabic, Somali, Bulgarian and Romanian. Information and education will also be developed so that the city’s employees are fully aware of the services and practices they offer and are able to tell the paperless about their rights to the services.”
The aforementioned proposal has now been approved by the Helsinki City Council, and the city will begin to act accordingly.