The new National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is set to start operations 1 January 2009, following the merger of the National Public Health Institute (KTL) and the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES).

As a key actor, both in Finland and internationally, THL will be committed to promoting the health and well-being of the population, preventing disease and social harms, and developing health and social services.

THL pursues and carries out its objectives by means of research, development, information guidance and some national services. Official tasks of the institute include monitoring of infectious diseases and acting as the statutory statistics authority for the field of health and welfare. THL maintains a strong knowledge base within the field, steering policy making through evidence based information.

In addition to the scientific community, THL seeks to serve the broader society, including professionals in the fields of health and social services as well as decision-makers in central government and municipalities. One of its key objectives is to help municipalities develop their health and social services through expert guidance and monitoring. The Institute will help to improve these services in terms of availability, quality, productivity, efficiency and impact. It will also be used to provide citizens with information for making health and welfare promoting choices in their life and to promote healthy changes in the environments. For this purpose the Institute cooperates with NGOs and develops new e-health services.

International cooperation had a significant role in both merging organisations and will continue to be essential to the activities of THL. The new institute will maintain and promote a close contact with European Union bodies, World Health Organisation and numerous scientific and public institutions and agencies as well as sister organisations around the world.

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)
Postal address is P.O.Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki
Phone +358 20 610 600
www.thl.fi