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Patient and visitors Patient rights and support we sisältö

Patient Rights and Support

The operation of Kuopio University Hospital is regulated by the Health Care Act, the Act on Specialised Medical Care and the Act on the Status and Rights of Patients, all of which are available for perusal on the hospital wards. We pay special attention to patient safety and ethically sound care.

Patient register

The patient data systems and medical records form a patient register with confidential information. Only those hospital employees who take part in the patient's treatment may use the information in the patient register. Exceptions can only be made by permission from the patient or on legal grounds. Patients can ask for all the information regarding themselves by sending a free-form application to the medical records center.

Objections and complaints

Patients who are dissatisfied with their care or the way in which they have been treated have the right to issue an objection or complaint. Objections should be submitted to Kuopio University Hospital's Medical Director, and complaints, in free-form, to the Director of Medical Services at the Regional State Administrative Agency. A patient ombudsman will provide advice to the patients and their family members in drafting the objection or complaint.

Patient injuries

If a procedure or treatment injures the patient, he or she may be entitled to compensation in accordance with the Patient Injuries Act or Tort Liability Act. The patient ombudsman will provide advice on the appeal proceedings.

If necessary, the doctor at your own health center, occupational health care or private practice can refer you to Kuopio University Hospital. The referral requires no action from the patient. Kuopio University Hospital will book an appointment for you and send an invitation letter to your home address.

Urgent emergencies are an exception, in which case, the patient must have access to treatment immediately, irrespective of their place of residence. For more on treatment for foreign nationals see here.

Patients' access to treatment is regulated by in the Health Care Act:

  • In the case of non-emergency treatment, access to specialised medical care can only take place with a referral from a physician.
  • The assessment of the need for care must be started within three weeks of the arrival of a referral.
  • Any tests and specialist evaluations must be performed within three months of the arrival of the referral.
  • If the examinations indicate that the patient requires hospital treatment, this must be initiated within the following six months.
  • In the case of mental health services for children and adolescents under 23, tests and specialist evaluations must be performed within six weeks of the arrival of the referral. The treatment must be arranged within three months of the need for treatment being stated.
  • If the hospital is unable to care for the patient within the specified period, it must arrange for the patient to be treated in another hospital district or the private sector. The patient will incur no extra costs as a result of this.

Access to specialised medical care requires a referral from a doctor at the patient's own basic health care unit, occupational health care or private health center. Patients can choose their own treatment locations together with the referring doctor without any regional limitations from among all municipal specialised medical care units. This freedom of choice applies not only to Finns, but also to the citizens of the EU and EEA Member States, and Switzerland.

Main principles of the freedom of choice

  • The treating doctor makes the decision to refer the patient for specialised medical care and assesses the level of care the patient requires. The patient cannot choose the level of the treatment, for example, university hospital level treatment if the illness does not warrant treatment at such a level.
  • The referred patient can select the treatment location together with the referring doctor.
  • Patients, within reason, have the right to select their doctor or other health care professional. In addition, whenever possible with regard to further treatment, the patient should be directed to the doctor or dentist who treated them previously.
  • Customers can select the specialised medical care treatment location from their home country or other EU country but the maximum travel compensation is limited to the cost of travel that would be incurred from the trip to the nearest university hospital.
  • Since the beginning of 2014, citizens of other EU countries, EEA states and Switzerland can use Finnish public health care services and must be provided access to treatment in public health care in the same manner as Finnish nationals. Treatment is provided according to Finnish legislation and treatment practices.
  • is part of good treatment
  • covers the safety of examinations, treatment and equipment
  • also means that the treatment will not cause harm to the patient

You are safe at the hospital

The goal of the professional staff at the hospital is to guarantee the good and safe treatment of patients.  Treatment is planned in co-operation with the patient and possibly with family members.  Treatment forms are based on the best researched information available. We value your feedback as it allows us to provide you with care that concentrates on you as a patient. Violent behaviour is not tolerated at Kuopio University Hospital.

If treatment does not go as planned

Treatment does not always go as planned and it might even cause harm to the patient.  The responsibility for providing safe treatment always lies with the care personnel, so it is important to clarify what happened.

If the patient and/or their family members feel that a dangerous situation occurred during treatment, they can submit an anonymous notification using a paper form available at each unit, or do this electronically.

Patient safety is everyone's business

Patient safety is everyone's business and you play an important role in it.  Every hospital unit has a patient's notice board that includes matters that you can participate in and influence in order to guarantee good and safe treatment.

Contact Information

Kaisa Haatainen
Patient Safety Manager
tel. +(358) 17 173 311

Related links
Patient's notice

Our common task is to provide ethically sound treatment. Its implementation is supported by legislation and ethical instructions.  Ethics applies to all parties of the care and services. It justifies and requires actions that are ethically dignified.

For you as a patient and customer, ethics means that you are as important as anyone else and you should be treated accordingly.

Your rights and obligations

As a patient, you have both rights and obligations. Your family members and next of kin also play an important role in the implementation of ethically sound treatment. If you have drawn up a living will, it will be adhered to in your care whenever possible.

Patient ombudsman

The patient ombudsman gives advice and guides patients and their family members in matters related to the patient's position and rights. If there are problems or any confusion related to the treatment or handling of the patient, you should first discuss the matter with the ward staff and supervisors, if necessary. In the case of possible patient injuries, please consult the treating physician or the namedcontact person on the ward who will help and give advice for further actions.

Data protection manager

The data protection manager follows and monitors the electronic processing and procedures related to customer information. In addition, this person takes part in the preparation of data protection and data security instructions, provides training on data protection and acts as support person for staff in matters related to data protection.

Social worker

A social worker takes part in the planning of the patient's further treatment and rehabilitation. Illness or injury has many effects on the patient's daily life. You can talk to a social worker about changes that have taken place in your life and any questions that arise because of the new situation. They will provide individual guidance and advice.

Rehabilitation counsellor

Rehabilitation counsellors act as contact persons between the home, hospital and employees taking part in the rehabilitation. Their task is to support the customers and their family members in changing situations. Services provided by rehabilitation counsellors are free of charge.

Hospital priests are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church with specialist training in hospital work. They are there for the patients, family members and staff. Discussions with the hospital priest concentrate on respecting human dignity, freedom of religion and integrity of the patients, family members and staff, and they abide by the confidentiality obligation set forth in the church and health care legislation.

You can call the Kuopio University Hospital priest directly or ask staff members to call the priest and agree on a meeting either in the priest's office or elsewhere at the hospital. You can also ask the priest to perform Holy Communion.

Orthodox Priests

Priests of Kuopio Orthodox Parish visit the sick upon request. The priests can be contacted any time of the day. In addition to talking with the patients, the priest may also administer Holy Communion in the Orthodox tradition. A separate prayer service will be held at death.


The hospital chapel is reserved for transference of patients who have died. You can reserve a visit to the chapel with the post-mortem examination department personnel who also have the reservation book for the chapel. You can also ask the priest to perform a service when the deceased is transferred.

Quiet room

You will find a quiet room on the fifth floor connecting corridor at Puijo Hospital. The room is there for everyone for quiet reflection irrespective of faith.

Contact Information

Sari Kärhä
leading hospital priest
tel. (+358) 40 484 8485

Maarit Koivurova
hospital priest
tel. (+358) 40 484 8487

Annamaija Louheranta
hospital priest
tel. (+358) 40 484 8486

Riikka Hakulinen
hospital priest
tel. (+358) 40 484 8484


From 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays
From 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends and public holidays
tel. (+358) 50 526 3768

Orthodox Priests
tel. (+358) 206 100 300
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