Nursing care service is provided to the patient in need of help either in the nursing hospital (with the former name of a long-term care hospital), at his or her home, or in a place where he or she is cared for. A patient is referred to the nursing hospital by the family doctor or a medical specialist with their referral - from the home, from the hospital, as well as from a care institution.

A patient can be referred to home nursing services by a family doctor or a medical specialist (neurologist, surgeon, oncologist, etc.), formalizing a referral for that care. A social worker or caregiver can also inform of the customer’s nursing care need to the family doctor who will assess the situation and arranges the help accordingly.

Inpatient nursing care patients pay 15% of the per diem fees, or up to 9.75 euro per day. The Health Insurance Fund pays the medical institution for one-day nursing care, which is about 52 euro to 1560 euro per month. In the nursing care, similarly to the medical specialist care, the patient may be charged a bedday fee of 2.50 euro per day, to a maximum of 25 euro per stay in the hospital. Outpatient nursing care services, including home nursing services are free of charge.

Nursing care in the hospital and at home

The issues relating to care for people are handled both by the health care system and the social welfare system. The goal of the nursing care service is the maintenance and possible improvement of the established health and functional condition of the patient, short-term or long-term care and support of patients in a stable condition, and, if necessary, alleviation of discomfort, also preparation of a person for referral to a nursing home or a care home.

The Health Insurance Fund finances both the in-patient nursing care provided in a hospital as well as home nursing services where a nurse will visit the patient at home. More information on social welfare services (nursing homes, etc.) is available in the local municipality.

The need for referral of a patient to a nursing hospital is decided by the family doctor either by himself/herself or together with the nurse. The doctor will issue a referral indicating the patient’s health problems and the necessary treatment, and the nurse will indicate the need for nursing care. Home nursing service is intended for patients who cope in the home environment, either alone or with the help of their family members with their everyday operation, but whose medical condition requires expert follow-up or support.

Home nursing services are provided in the patient’s home, and it includes patient counseling regarding health maintenance and lifestyle, upon the doctor orders performance of certain medical procedures (oxygen therapy, wound care, injections and drip-making, bladder flush etc.).

Skin condition assessment and prevention of and care for pressure ulcers are also included in home care nursing activities. In addition a home nurse measures blood glucose levels using a glucometer, performs urine analysis with a test strip, carries out repositioning and applies physical therapy elements for increasing the joint mobility and physical activity of the patient. One type of home care nursing is the supportive home care of cancer patients which is provided for cancer patients in a serious condition - in most cases with the aim of alleviating the patient’s discomfort and includes psychosocial counseling of the patient and his or her loved ones, taking into account the specificities of the cancer patient. The service includes home visits of a specialist doctor and nurse. Home nursing services are provided by the home nurses who have received the necessary training.