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Finland government resigns over failure of healthcare reform

President of Finland Sauli Niinisto and Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila, who announced his government's resignation, meet at the president's official residence, Mantyniemi, in Helsinki. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Helsinki, Finland Mar 08, 2019, 05.26 PM (IST)

Finland's government resigned on Friday after ditching plans to reform the healthcare system, a key policy, throwing the country into political limbo.

The president approved Prime Minister Juha Sipila's resignation and asked his government to continue as a care-taker government until a new cabinet has been appointed.

The collapse of the government comes just one month before parliamentary elections are due, after Sipila failed to push through the reforms. The changes were crucial to the three-party governing coalition's plan to balance public finances.

Financial constraints are colliding with the healthcare costs imposed by Finland's fast-ageing population. But cutting those costs is a major political obstacle in a Nordic country that historically has provided an extensive and expensive healthcare system.

Several governments have tried to push through reforms in different forms over the past 12 years.

An election is already set for April 14 April.

Story highlights

The president approved Prime Minister Juha Sipila's resignation and asked his government to continue as a care-taker government until a new cabinet has been appointed.