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The Finnish Primary Health Care Act of 1972 aimed to provide comprehensive health care to the population. One consequence was an increase in the number of beds for the use of general practitioners, so that there are now 2.2 general practitioner beds per thousand population. Use of these beds varies with the location of the health station in which they are situated, but in rural areas approximates to that of general practitioner hospitals in the United Kingdom. Despite integration of general practitioner beds into overall planning, some potential benefits of these facilities have not been realized. For the UK, with traditions of personal general practice and continuity of care, the Finnish system offers one model of community care which may have medical and economic advantages.