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Finnish government resigns after healthcare reform fails
10 March 2019, 02:59 | Silvia Roy
Finland's cabinet quits over failure to deliver healthcare reformMore
The news comes as Finland prepares to hold parliamentary elections on 14 April to determine the composition of the nation's 200-seat legislature, the Eduskunta assembly.
Sipila had previously said he would dissolve his centre-right coalition government if it failed to push through its health care, welfare and local government reforms.
Sipila, a former businessman who earned millions as an IT entrepreneur before becoming prime minister in 2015, has made health and social reform one of his top priorities in office, seeing a shake-up as necessary to cut the ballooning costs of treating a rapidly ageing population.
According to the government, the reform could have curbed the annual growth of Finland's public social and healthcare expenses to 0.9% from the current estimate of 2.4% between 2019 and 2029.
Speaking at a press conference, Sipila said health care had been one of his government's main goals and that he was "hugely disappointed".
"Prime Minister Sipila requests to resign because the healthcare reform can not be accomplished during this government term", tweeted Antti Kaikkonen, the Head of Sipila's Centre Party's parliamentary group. The changes were crucial to the three-party governing coalition's plan to balance public finances. He heads a coalition made up of his Centre Party, the conservative National Coalition and Blue Reform, another conservative grouping made up of defectors from the nationalist Finns Party.
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Finland is due to take over the European Union's rotating presidency on July 1.
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