Social and health lessons learned from the pandemic

25.03.21 | News
Corona mand i bus
Photographer
Ricky Molloy
The Nordic Council of Ministers for Health and Social Affairs met online today to discuss what has been learned during the COVID-19 pandemic – both positive and negative. The point of the meeting was to come up with proposals for how the Nordic countries might become better at working together on health and social issues in the event of any future crises.

The authorities in the Nordic countries are still learning from the fight against COVID all the time. The Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2021 wants the countries to share those lessons. Following up on meetings held under the Danish Presidency last year, the ministers today focused on learning from what has happened and preparing for the future. 

Cross-border insights benefit official agencies

“We should analyse how official agencies have operated during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Nordic countries, change what does not work and keep what works well,” said Krista Kiuru, Finland’s Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services. Her colleagues agreed that this would make good sense They also agreed that it had made good sense for the countries to share information and learn from each other during last year's turbulent corona year.  

“During the COVID-19 epidemic, we have, for example, shared information about patient numbers, the epidemiological situation and forecasts. We have also shared medical information, supplies and other relevant resources. All of this benefits Nordic agencies and spreads knowledge, solutions and inspiration across national borders,” Kiuru said.

We should analyse how official agencies have operated during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Nordic countries, change what does not work and keep what works well

Krista Kiuru, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Finland

Close Nordic co-operation on health and social affairs

The meeting discussed how the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Health and Social Affairs, like virtually everything else in the world, has been affected by COVID-19. The pandemic has had a profound impact on health and social conditions, with vulnerable people particularly hard hit. Overall, however, the Nordic Region has fared better than many other parts of the world. The ministers agreed that although the crisis is not over, it is also important to look at how their countries might work better together in the future and learn from both negative and positive experiences. 

“We should share information and focus on working well together. We need to agree on how best to share information. We also need to provide guidance on how to act in ways that mean Nordic co-operation benefits all of the parties involved to the greatest possible extent,” the Finnish minister said.