The current regulations on driving licenses requires a comprehensive assessment of the person's driving capacity. This is the rationale for the establishment of the Clinic for assessment of driving capacity which was inaugurated on January 9, 2015 as a part of the Turku University Hospital. The Clinic is needed for the assessment of problematic cases of driving capacity.
The individual responsibility areas of the Hospital examine their patients' driving capacity from the perspective of the illnesses related to the specific responsibility area. But a multiprofessional approach to assessing a person's driving capacity is occasionally needed. The Clinic has a board of specialists who meet regularly. The specialists come from all specialties needed to handle specific cases, and a traffic medicine specialist is always present.
Decisions are made by the board which has a representative experienced in traffic medicine from each main medical specialty. The expert physician of the board has special competence in the field of traffic medicine, authorized by the Finnish Medical Association.
Assessment of driving capacity within specialized health care
Most health checks for driving licenses are made without any problems by physicians within primary and occupational health care. At the Turku University Hospital specialized health care assessments of the driving capacity of patients are made daily by specialists at the different clinics. Now the hospital can also offer multiprofessional expert consultations to physicians in the hospital district in the field of traffic medicine to solve controversies related to the driving capacity of individuals.
Our most important patient groups are professional drivers, especially those working in road and track traffic, but also in sea traffic. Another important client group are young adults with chronic illnesses who are approaching driving age.
Getting referred for examinations to the Clinic
We provide services to patients who are referred to the Clinic. The referral is made by a physician who has performed the primary examinations at an occupational or health care center. After completion of the specialist examinations in their own field of expertise, the responsibility areas of the Turku University Hospital may refer their patients for assessment by the expert board of the Clinic for assessment of the driving capacity. The Clinic is not responsible for the clients' medical care and makes only decisions regarding the driving capacity of individual patients.
External actors, like the employer or an insurance company, may also refer persons to the Clinic. We do not receive self-paying clients for examinations.
The costs for the examinations of professional drivers are covered by the person's municipality of domicile. Persons living outside the specific catchment area of the Clinic need to have a commitment of expenditure issued by the health care center of the person's municipality of domicile. Commitments of expenditure from the person's employer or insurance company are also accepted.
Commitments of expenditure from the person's employer or insurance company are also accepted.
Self-employed professionals may contact the Clinic directly, although a referral from the treating physician is preferred. We offer our services also to residents outside the specific catchment area of the Clinic, but a commitment of expenditure is needed.
Statements and collaboration
The Center of excellence for traffic medicine operates in the same facilities as the Clinic for occupational medicine and consults whatever specialties are needed. In consultations related to driving permits, a traffic medicine specialist physician is always consulted.
If needed, we will arrange for specialized examinations.
Patient visits and examinations and resolutions by the board of specialists are recorded in the patient records.
The client will always receive a copy of the statement by the board of specialists, and other statements that may be needed are sent by the University Hospital to the referring party or the patient may be referred back to the referring party.
The Center of excellence for traffic medicine collaborates with the Institute of occupational health in Turku and Helsinki. We collaborate with the University of Turku in the fields of research and basic education. We always ask for specific permission to use the results of our scientific studies.