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Big decisions shaping Central Finland’s future

14.06.2016

After seemingly years of inability to implement reform of social services and healthcare, the last couple of weeks have witnessed some major decisions which will have a permanent and far-reaching impact on the way services are organised and Central Finland is administered.

In addition to the municipal elections in April 2017 the people of Finland will vote in January 2018 for the first directly elected regional assemblies.

Just a couple of days ago it became clear that Jämsä and Kuhmoinen – which earlier opted to join Pirkanmaa sairaanhoitopiiri – will not be allowed to change region and will remain part of Central Finland. This is a welcome decision for many reasons. First, it ensures the survival of Central Finland as an electoral district and secondly it means potentially a further 25 000 patients for the new central hospital in Jyväskylä which is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Planning of the compact new hospital – some 22% smaller than the old one – has been in progress for close on six years and the final decision on the construction contract is scheduled to be taken on June 3rd. If all goes as expected, construction will begin at the start of September.

Construction of the new hospital will provide employment, directly and indirectly, for several thousand people. Other big infra projects such as Kangas are already well under way and a decision on the city’s involvement in an equally important project – the transformation of the Hippos area – is expected in late 2017.

Jyväskylä simply needs more jobs. An unemployment rate of almost 17% is completely unacceptable. Over the last three years steady progress has been made in putting the city’s finances into a sustainable state. Only through further tight control of spending and generation of more tax income through new jobs can we bring this process to a successful conclusion and lay the foundation for lasting well-being.

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