Halvempi koronavirustesti omiin kotimaihinsa matkustaville! Affordable Covid19-test for travelers reaching their own home countries!

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2021-06-09 08:03:17

Thanks to all of you, who have signed, commented and shared the petition!

I have included it (underlining some of the comments you wrote) in the letters I sent to some newspapers, TV programs and Ministry of Social affairs and Health of Finland. Here is the answer I got last week from STM:n (Social and Health care Ministry) erityisasiantuntijalta:

”Hei, kiitos yhteydenotostanne. On tärkeää, että saamme tietoa, jonka avulla lainsäädäntöä voidaan kehittää. Mainitsemanne ongelma on tunnistettu myös täällä STM:ssä.

Voimassa olevassa kansallisessa testausstrategiassa pyritään siihen, että koronaviruksen testauskapasiteetti kohdennetaan ensisijaisesti niiden henkilöiden testaamiseen, joilla on oireita. Myös kaikki ulkomailta Suomeen saapuvat tai palaavat ohjataan rajanylityspaikoilla testeihin erilaisten toimintamallien mukaisesti. Nämä testit ovat julkisessa terveydenhuollossa asiakkaille maksuttomia. Myös maahantulon yhteydessä otettava testi ja 72 tunnin kuluttua maahan saapumisesta otettava uusintatesti on maksuton. Testausten kohdentamisella pyritään siihen, että testauskapasiteetti riittää ja tartuntoja pystytään torjumaan tehokkaasti.

Silloin, kun kyse on matkustamisesta Suomesta ulkomaille, toteutetaan oireettomien testaus ja tähän liittyvä todistusten laatiminen tarvittaessa yksityissektorin avulla. Matkustuksen syitä ei ole eritelty, vaan se kattaa kaikista syistä ulkomaille tapahtuvat matkat. Kunnissa voi olla erilaisia käytäntöjä esimerkiksi käytettävissä olevan testauskapasiteetin vuosi siihen, testaavatko ne ulkomaille lähteviä henkilöitä. Matkalle lähteminen ei ole sellainen syy, joka lainsäädännön perusteella oikeuttaisi julkisessa terveydenhuollossa otettavaan maksuttomaan testiin. Kuten toteatte, yksityisen palveluntuottajan tekemien testien hinnoissa voi olla eroja eri maiden sisällä ja myös maiden välillä, sillä niitä koskevaa sitovaa hinnoittelua ei ole määritelty.

Ystävällisin terveisin ***** ”

"Hey, Thank you for contacting me. It is important that we have information that can be used to develop legislation. The problem you mentioned has also been identified here at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

The current national testing strategy aims to focus the testing capacity of the coronavirus primarily on testing people with symptoms. All persons arriving or returning to Finland from abroad will also be directed to tests at border crossing points according to different operating models. These tests are free of charge for customers in public health care. The entry test and the retest 72 hours after arrival are also free of charge. The aim of targeting tests is to ensure that the testing capacity is sufficient and that infections can be combated effectively.

In the case of traveling abroad from Finland, asymptomatic testing and related certifications are carried out with the help of the private sector, if necessary. The reasons for the travel are not specified, but cover trips abroad for all reasons. Municipalities may have different practices, for example, a year of available testing capacity to test people going abroad. Going on a trip is not a reason that, under the legislation, would entitle you to a free test in public health care. As you can see, there may be differences in the prices of tests carried out by a private service provider within countries and also between countries, as no binding pricing has been defined.

regards ****”  

I thanked sincerely for the answer but also wrote back that something not true was contained in it. They wrote about testing people leaving from Finland that “it is carried out for the asymptomatic IF NECESSARY with the help of the private sector”. I wrote back that asymptomatic can get the test exclusively by the private sector, with their crazy prices and that this system or not-system invites travelers to lie about symptoms they do not have. I have noticed during these weeks that even people working in health care in Finland do not know how the testing is working for travelers leaving from Finland. They assume that is done by public health care and for free, as it is for travelers arriving in Finland. When 2 weeks ago the issue and our petition was the subject of an article in the local newspaper of my city in Finland, a doctor contacted me the same day and told me that I should check once more, that for sure there is a way through the public system. After we double-checked that without symptoms in Finland you just do not have the right to be tested for free or even at a reasonable price, she totally agreed that it is unacceptable and that is an indecent business for the private sector. I told her that the only thing I wished is that especially people like her, in a high managing position in the health care system, would start denouncing the problem at least at a local level.   I hope still they will listen to us and something would change, until we will all be (also our kids!!) vaccinated and have access to the Green Pass. I know for sure that for example in cities like Kuopio, where the Covid situation has been quiet for several weeks, testing capacity would allow giving tests also for departing travelers.

Cecilia Laakso

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