Two pints of lager and a blood pressure test

Barflies in Helsinki are benefiting from a little extra customer care, as the city’s health services descend into uncharted territory.

From the beginning of October, drinkers in four neighbourhoods of the Finnish capital have been able to order a blood sugar level or blood pressure test with their tipples.

According to Jouko Ranta, the project’s director, the purpose of the scheme is not to admonish drinkers but to reach reluctant customers. According to research which backs the venture, many bar patrons find traditional health services patronising.

The scheme has so far been a success according to all reports, with pub punters discussing their results with each other and commenting on factors which might have affected them. Finnish healthcare providers are also hoping that the project could help identify those with type 2 diabetes, which is currently a big strain on the public purse.