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Kela’s phone service in Russian, Somali and Arabic will close for the time being
After Christmas Kela will close the national phone services in Russian, Somali and Arabic.
During the last couple of years, the phone services have helped customers with questions about Kela’s benefits especially in the initial stage of contact. As the customer’s skills in Finnish, Swedish or English have increased, the customer has been directed to services in these languages.
Many customers have found the service to be very useful. The phone service has helped an average of 2 080 customers per month during a period from 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019. The phone service has only been able to answer 26 % of all incoming calls.
Kela has temporarily closed down the phone service in Russian, Somali and Arabic. Some challenges in organizing day-to-day work need to be solved before the phone service can continue.
– This is truly regrettable. In the future, we hope to be able to continue with the service and develop it. We have seen how useful the service has been to our customers, says the Director of the Customer service unit for the Greater Helsinki Area Matti Kujala.
Service in other languages in different ways
In the future customers will still get services in other languages. If Kela’s customer service makes the assessment that the customer’s matters cannot be handled in Finnish, Swedish or English, Kela provides services in another language. During the last couple of years, Kela has recruited customer service personnel with skills in different languages.
Kela’s customers are entitled to interpretation services if it is not possible to handle matters with Kela in the customer’s mother tongue and if there is no common language with Kela’s customer service personnel. In these cases, Kela can organize a professional interpreter for the customer.