The statutory task of the Student Health Care Foundation is to organize health and medical services for students, promote the students’ health and ability to study, and promote the well-being of the study environment and community. At the moment, however, it seems almost impossible to fulfil the statutory task because of insufficient resources. Access to non-urgent healthcare may take an unreasonable amount of time. While students are queuing up for services, their problems and challenges deteriorate.

‘The fulfillment of the statutory task has failed if students’ coping is at stake and appointments are not available around Finland. This cannot continue’, snaps the Kylteri Chairs’ network Chair Emilia Winqvist.

The lack of resources needs to be addressed now

In particular, access to mental health services is clogged. The students may have to wait for the first treatment contact for months, unless it is a life-threatening, critical situation. This is particularly difficult for those students who already struggle to cope and who need to work hard to seek help. Some of them may give up seeking help, because they feel like they spend all their time on the telephone, listening to the muzak of the YTHS customer service.

However, this is not the fault of the YTHS’s skilled staff or students using their services. This is a question of resourcing. The services were already congested before the UAS students joined the services and the situation has only worsened. In order for the YTHS to be able to better serve its customers, i.e. students, resources must be reviewed. State funding must meet the needs of students, because we cannot afford to lose any young people to mental health problems or other diseases.

Part of the funding of the YTHS comes from the YTHS contribution, which each student has to pay twice a year, even if they don’t not use the services.

‘In this situation, it is worth considering whether it is fair that every student has to pay a YTHS contribution without guaranteeing that help will be available when it is needed’, Winqvist continues.