One in five Finns suffers from a respiratory disorder at some point in their life or has been diagnosed with a respiratory disease. Respiratory diseases are long-term illnesses that change the lives of the people affected by them. Some respiratory diseases are progressive diseases, and in these cases, the objective of treatment is to slow down the progression of the disease and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Keeping the disease under control requires an efficient care path between specialised medical care and primary healthcare, as well as regular support for self-care. This is the most cost-effective solution for society.
Another cost-effective measure is secondary prevention: the prevention of additional diseases. This is why it is so important for healthcare services to offer free and low-threshold preventive lifestyle guidance to people with respiratory diseases.
In the future, asthma, COPD, and sleep apnoea diagnoses will be increasingly made in health and welfare centres. Primary healthcare services will carry the main responsibility for the treatment of these diseases. The rarest and most severe forms of respiratory diseases will still be diagnosed in specialised medical care. Specialised medical care services also provide treatment during flare-ups.
Keeping the disease under control helps prevent flare-ups. The cornerstone of respiratory disease treatment is successful self-care, which is planned and arranged in cooperation between the patient and primary healthcare. The patient also needs regular check-ups, written instructions, and support for self-care. The key is to empower the patient and help them lead an active life. Discover our In Good Care programme, which highlights the importance of interaction.
Social services and healthcare services must cooperate to help elderly patients and patients with severe respiratory conditions maintain their ability to function and live independently at home. Rehabilitative services must be part of the treatment chain. People suffering from respiratory diseases must be able to access rehabilitation within an appropriate timeframe. The Organisation for Respiratory Health in Finland also advocates good treatment and care in the networks of the SOSTE umbrella organisation.