ENIEC members have taken the healthcare organization Saffier in The Hague on a substantive study trip to Estonia and Finland with a focus on innovation.
On the request of Elisabeth de Vries, Jan Booij organised the trip in collaboration with ENIEC memebrs in Finland. In Tallinn, the trip was primarily centered around Estonia as the most digitized country in the world and the associated innovations in healthcare. We visited e-Estonia, which encompasses a wide range of digital services and solutions, such as e-governance, e-identification, e-residency, digital signatures, and online payments. Estonia’s digital identification system is known as the “ID card,” which allows Estonians to access government services, banking, healthcare, and more online. Additionally, we visited a senior care facility in Kristiine, one of the districts of Tallinn, where we also had discussions with Estonians to gain a deeper understanding of the context of what we had seen. Furthermore, we visited the “Republic of Estonia Social Insurance Board,” the government agency responsible for managing social security systems in Estonia, including national health insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefits.
Next, we crossed the Gulf of Finland by ferry to Helsinki. There, we visited the Laurea University of Applied Sciences and engaged in discussions about how technological innovations for the benefit of the elderly can be utilized, how the elderly can be involved, and how the conversation on this topic can be better conducted in a diverse city like Helsinki.
The Kontula Senior Center, a senior care organization in a diverse district of Helsinki, was both familiar to the participants of the study trip and offered new insights and wonderment. Additionally, we explored nature and experienced how silence contributes to progress.
During our stay in Helsinki and Tallinn, we also had conversations with various members of ENIEC who are active in various locations in Finland, both during our field visits and during our dinners. ENIEC also assisted Estonian and Finnish lessons with ideas and suggestions to make the trip a success.
This trip will undoubtedly generate a lot of discussion within Saffier and will certainly contribute to further innovation within this dynamic organization in The Hague. It is also a great example of how we can meet each other within ENIEC outside of our regular meetings!
Written by Jan Booij