Finland's government resigns over failed health care reform

Finland's government resigns over failed health care reform

The government of Finland through Prime Minister Juha Sipila has tendered its resignation request following its failure to oversee a health care reform.

"Prime Minister Juha Sipila has submitted the resignation of the government to President of the Republic Sauli Niinisto... today", Niinisto's office said.

Niinisto has asked Sipila and his cabinet to continue on and operate as a transitional government, according to Huvudstadsbladet newspaper.

Observers said it will not make much difference as its term in office is almost over and the parliamentary election is due in April. In 2017, as a result of an internal party split, the True Finns went into opposition, and the Blue Future, which had separated from them, retained cabinet positions.

Sipila's Center party's head, Antti Kaikkonen termed the move by the PM as the best example of political responsibility. "It has been a huge disappointment to me", Sipila said during a news conference, adding that the reform in the works "had been one of our most important projects".

The Social Democrats have been leading opinion polls in the run-up to the election, with Sipila's Centre party trailing in third place at around 15 percent.

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"I take the responsibility for the failure".

Earlier on Friday, Finland's public broadcaster Yle said the government was about to announce that it has dropped plans for major healthcare and social services reform, citing unnamed government sources.

The PM, a former businessman in the Information Technology field took power in May 2015 and had promised to resign if his government failed to implement the healthcare reform.

The planned health care reform was meant to tackle an aging population and reduce public spending by 3 billion euros ($3.4 billions) by 2029.

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