Archiving of patient data after the closure of operations

Archiving of patient data after the closure of operations

When a controller closes its operations, the possibility of processing the data in its register will change. The data in the register must be retained safely. Data in a paper archive can be transferred to Kela after the operations have closed.

The new Client Data Act will come into force on 1 January 2024
When a private social welfare or health care service provider ceases its operations, it must submit the documents included in its register to Kela for storage as of 01/01/2024. We are currently uppdating the page. If you have any questions about this topic, please send a message to

The closure of operations means the termination of professional activities in the field of social welfare and health care due to the winding down of business operations, change of career, or retirement. The closure of operations must be reported to the Regional State Administrative Agency.

Processing of data archived in the Kanta Services

Data entered in the Patient Data Repository can be viewed in MyKanta even after operations have ceased, and it can still be shared with other service providers from the Patient Data Repository. However, only the controller can amend or correct the patient data in the register.

Patient documents entered in the archive of old patient data that are not shown in MyKanta or shared with other service provider can no longer be processed at all after the closure of operations.

Controller’s responsibilities

The controller's responsibilities have been outlined

  • in the Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on Patient Documents regarding the retention period of patient documents
  • in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation regarding controller obligations.

However, there is currently no national legal basis for the transfer of expired archives and the controller's obligation after the closure of operations. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will clarify the guidelines on the archiving of patient data following the closure of operations as part of the comprehensive reform of information management regulations in social welfare and health care services. The acts are scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2024.

The controller is responsible for reporting on the closure of controllership and its impacts on the processing of data held in the register. In practice, this may mean, for example, contacting the registered persons or notifying of the matter on the controller’s website.

Data in the register must be retained safely after closure of operations

The estate of a deceased person or a controller who has otherwise closed their operations are instructed to retain the data safely until the reform of the information management legislation.

  • In the case of a paper archive, the data can be delivered to Kela.
  • If the data is in electronic format, the retention of the data must be agreed on with the system supplier.

The costs of retaining the data are the responsibility of the party who is in possession of the data, for example, the estate of a deceased person or the operator who has ceased operations.

After the closure of operations, the controller has the option of delivering the patient records directly to its clients. This may be a credible option especially in the case of small operators. However, clients are not obligated to receive their own patient records. In such a case, the controller must take care of the safe retention of patient data in other ways.

Paper patient and customer data can be archived with Kela

Following the closure of operations, it is possible for private social and health care service providers to submit their paper materials to Kela's paper archiving service for customer and patient documents.

The service is intended for private service providers who have closed their operations and who were responsible for storing paper documents generated during their activities.

The archiving of paper materials with Kela is free of charge until further notice.

However, the service provider or its representative shall bear the costs incurred from

  • converting the material into a format required by Kela
  • delivering the materials to Kela.

Until further notice, Kela does not accept occupational health care materials.

Read more about the paper archiving service for patient and customer documents (, in Finnish).

Data in the archive of old patient data available only to the controller

When a controller ceases operations, entering of the register data in the archive of old patient data is not a solution for retaining the data. The deployment of the archive of old patient data requires that the Patient Data Repository has been deployed at first.

Patient data can be entered in the Kanta Services to take care of its permanent retention, but the data entered in the archive of old patient data can only be used by the controller. No one else but the controller will have access to the data in the register.

The client will not see their data entered in the archive of old patient data in MyKanta but, if necessary, they need to request the data directly from the controller. If there is no controller, the data cannot be submitted to the patient or other operators.

Moreover, the Kanta Services do not have the right to rectify incorrect data. Only the controller has the right to amend or correct the data in its register.

Last updated 16.11.2023