In an innovative move that has freed up nurses to help with COVID-19 patients and provided income to the unemployed, the Finnish healthcare group has temporarily hired laid-off Finnair employees to work in the company’s care homes, most of them with a previous qualification, while some outsourced healthcare centres’ employees have been transferred to public COVID-19 wards.

To boost COVID-19 testing and care, the company opened 25 respiratory clinics nationwide to provide added resources and started sending COVID-19 tests to South Korea for a steep ramp-up of testing capacity in Finland. Mehiläinen has also facilitated the procurement of PPE through their international contacts, helping both the public sector and private providers, and created training videos for Finnish physicians. In addition, the company launched campaigns to reduce smoking and alcohol consumption, and trained its nurses to detect signs of domestic violence, known to increase in the stress of pandemic outbreaks.