General terms for health care services
Scope of application
These general terms will be applied to all agreements with which a company belonging to Mehiläinen Group and/or independent practitioners in its units (hereafter “medical centre” and “practitioner” or, for both separately, “service provider”) provide and arrange health care services for consumers, companies, municipalities, and other customers in the private, public, or third sector (hereafter “customer”). These health care services include, among others, appointments and consultation, laboratory work, imaging and other examinations, operations, vaccinations and similar procedures, care in ward, dental care, and physical therapy services, as well as supportive operations, such as appointment reservation and invoicing. For consumer customers, these terms do not limit the non-negotiable rights guaranteed by the consumer protection legislation. If a service is partly or entirely provided on the basis of an agreement between the service provider and a municipality, insurance company, sports club, employer, or similar party, the service user is hereafter also referred to as the “patient.”
Contracting parties and responsibility for the service
As is the established practice, the medical centre hosts both medical centre employees and independent practitioners. The medical centre independently offers services, such as examinations, in addition to which it handles appointment reservation and payment services for practitioners. Physicians, dentists, therapists and other professionals providing independent services mostly operate as private practitioners in Mehiläinen. A practitioner is not in the medical centre’s employment. A practitioner may practice his or her profession as a natural person or for a company. Everything stated in these terms in relation to practitioners also applies to companies operating at the medical centre that employ said practitioners. The practitioner and the medical centre operate as separate contractual parties in relation to customers and patients, and each is directly answerable to them for its respective services. Neither the practitioner nor the medical centre is responsible for services provided by the other. Both the practitioner and the medical centre must have insurance against treatment injury as required by the Patient Insurance Act (in Finnish Potilasvakuutuslaki). The medical centre and practitioners provide further information about their position by request.
Generation and content of an agreement
Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing, an agreement is generated when a customer or patient and a service provider agree upon an appointment.
Cancellation and delay
The service provider is entitled to charge a customer or patient for an unused appointment if the appointment has not been cancelled the day before the appointment (or another period of time specifically communicated), at the latest. If the customer or patient arrives late, the service provider is not obliged to exceed the appointed time or to start the agreed upon operation if it cannot be performed to the agreed schedule. The service provider aims to see the patient at the appointed time, but, owing to the nature of health care services, the appointed time cannot be guaranteed. If the service provider is delayed for more than 20 minutes, the customer or patient is entitled to cancel the appointment by informing the service provider of the cancellation.
Specified prices are applied for the services of practitioners and the medical centre. Each practitioner and the medical centre decide their own prices. A clerical fee is charged in addition to treatment, examinations, and other services. Because of the nature of health care services, it cannot be estimated in advance exactly which examinations and treatments might be necessary.
Term of payment
Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing, the customer pays the fees in cash or with a payment card accepted by the medical centre during the visit, in accordance with the practice followed at the medical centre. The medical centre collects the fees for all services provided by the centre and by practitioners and transfers each practitioner’s share to the said practitioner. The service provider is entitled to collect an advance fee. The customer must inform the medical centre before booking an appointment and receiving health care services if he or she is insolvent or is for another reason unable to pay for the services in the above way. The service provider is entitled to discontinue its contractual obligations if matters arise that give reason to believe that the customer may fail to fulfil his or her contractual obligations. If a payment is delayed, the customer is obliged to pay a penalty interest in accordance with the interest legislation, as well as reminder and collection charges.
Customers who don’t pay for themselves
If the service provided is a part of an occupational health care system or the patient on another basis does not pay for the service himself or herself, the patient must clarify and ensure the payment arrangements when making an appointment, to guarantee a smooth service. If the party specified by the patient is not obliged to pay for the service, the patient is responsible for the payment.
Patient documents and confidentiality
The creation, storage, and surrender of patient documents are carried out, and confidentiality ensured, in accordance with relevant legislation and other regulations.
Characteristics and quality of the service
Malpractice and the quality of health care services are determined in accordance with the treatment injury legislation. No set result can be guaranteed for any service. The information provided on the medical centre’s website and in other communications is for reference only and does not constitute part of the agreement.
Handling of feedback and claims corcerning the service
Any disputes related to a service must be primarily resolved directly between the customer or patient and the physician or other professional that provided the service. If the matter cannot be resolved in these discussions, a claim can be submitted to the processor designated by the medical clinic who will forward any claims concerning a private practitioner to the practitioner in question. If the matter is not resolved in the first contact, the processing of the matter will continue directly between the private practitioner and the customer or patient. Any claims specified in the Patient Insurance Act (in Finnish Potilasvakuutuslaki) are resolved according to the Patient Insurance Act (in Finnish Potilasvakuutuslaki). A notification related to health services can also be issued according to the related legislation. A patient representative will give more detailed information about patient injuries and notifications. Complaints about the service can be issued by using the contact information provided on the invoice or the feedback and complaint form provided by the medical clinic. Other claims must be submitted to the service provider without undue delay in two (2) weeks from the provision of the services.
The service provider accepts no responsibility for delays or other failures to fulfil obligations that arise for reasons beyond the service provider’s control. These reasons include strikes and other industrial actions; fires; hospital bacteria infestations, etc. occasioning discontinuation or delays, as well as an illness of the receiving professional; interruption in the distribution of electricity, data communication connections, or data systems; measures required by public law; and other unforeseeable circumstances that the service provider cannot eliminate with reasonable measures.
Compensation for damages
Treatment injuries will be processed and compensated for in accordance with the Patient Insurance Act (in Finnish Potilasvakuutuslaki). Otherwise, the service provider’s responsibility is limited to the price paid for the service. Compensation will not be provided for indirect damages.