Reader opinion Doctors could hold an evening reception at health centers

In Great Britain, the working day of a general practitioner is divided differently than in Finland.

I am general practitioner, and years ago I had the opportunity to practice as a general practitioner in an English hamlet while living in Oxfordshire.

The operating environment and culture were very different compared to the Finnish health center organization, as everyone who has watched the BBC’s numerous medical series on television has noticed.

In the British system, the working day of a general practitioner is distributed differently than in Finland. After the morning reception, there is office work and home visits. At 4 p.m., patient reception at the health center will resume in the afternoon and will last for 2-3 hours.

This is a very different way of working compared to the general practitioners in our health centers, some of whom are moving to private doctors at that very time to see their own practice as professionals. Their patient population is largely made up of citizens covered by occupational health care, who, in any effort, have the right, at their own discretion, to seek medical advice at the employer’s expense. It is therefore not a question of seeing your own occupational health doctor.

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These patients are examined and treated by health center doctors in the evenings, receiving reasonable financial compensation.

Could it be possible for future SOTE centers to create working conditions and compensation models that would allow GPs to have evening receptions at their own workplaces instead of these private doctors? Any citizen, regardless of their employment situation, would be able to get there by appointment, if necessary.

Pirkko Salokekkilä

General Practitioner, Helsinki

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS’s editorial staff. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at

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