Healthcare sector says extra funding enough, likely to cancel strike ({{commentsTotal}})

A strike planned to begin May 15 and expected to last for months will likely be called off as the healthcare sector is satisfied by the budgeted increase in healthcare spending.
A strike planned to begin May 15 and expected to last for months will likely be called off as the healthcare sector is satisfied by the budgeted increase in healthcare spending. Source: (Sander Ilvest/Postimees/Scanpix)

Representatives of the Estonian healthcare sector found that the amount of additional money earmarked by the government for healthcare services in the coming years was sufficient and that they will most likely not go on strike as planned.

In addition, Katrin Rehemaa, secretary general of the Estonian Medical Association, said that a collective agreement setting out the sector's pay increase will be signed next week.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski described the decision to begin paying social tax for pensioners to the Health Insurance Fund as the most important decision made in the healthcare sector this decade, ensuring the sector's sustainable financing and increasing the stability of the financing of the Health Insurance Fund.

Although the situation will be difficult thi year, cash flows will begin to increase next year and the groundwork has been laid for things to begin getting better, said Rehemaa.

While the sector has confidence now regarding its future, 2017 is a year that must be survived, said Urmas Sule, manager of the Association of Hospitals.

Rehemaa noted that while she did not make the decisions on these things, noting that they are made by a panel of representatives, the strike that healthcare workers had been planning, which was scheduled to begin May 15, will likely be called off.

"If I said yesterday that the likelihood of industrial peace has skyrocketed, then following today's meeting, the likelihood has increased further," she explained.

A healthcare worker pay accord setting out a wage increase retroactively from April 1 is expected to be signed next week as well.

"The money for the pay increase of healthcare workers is there," Ossinovski said. "When the collective agreement is signed, we will be ready to endorse it next Wednesday and then approve it in the government."

The government decided on Wednesday that Estonia will begin paying money for pensioners into the budget of the Health Insurance Fund next year, with the sum of such payments gradually increasing from €37 million in 2017 to €100 million in 2022. On a similar scale, healthcare expenses that have been paid for from the state budget thus far will be made a liability of the Health Insurance Fund.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS



10 years since bronze night riots
Monument of contention

In late April 2007, the Estonian authorities removed the Bronze Soldier monument from Tallinn’s Tõnismägi. The unrest that accompanied the relocation have since become known as the Bronze Night riots.

Opinion
Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.