Rõivas: Health Insurance Fund’s supervisory board too large, responsibility too dispersed
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) told ERR’s Estonian news portal on Thursday that in his opinion as well as that of other ministers, the supervisory board of the Health Insurance Board was too large to work effectively. This also meant that responsibility was distributed among
“A third of the members of the Health Insurance Fund’s supervisory board are appointed by the employers, a third by the unions, and a third are representatives of the state. All in all there are so many people that it’s very hard to work effectively this way,” Rõivas said.
The prime minister compared the situation to the six-member supervisory board of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, where all social partners are represented, but only with two mandates each. “There things are working more effectively,” he added.
The government will discuss potential reform plans in more detail on Sept. 22, the deadline for Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) to propose changes to improve the situation.
Rõivas has invited representatives of the employers as well as the unions to meet in Stenbock House tomorrow. The meeting will discuss possible solutions to the Health Insurance Fund’s spending problems. The three participating parties in the running of the fund presently have five seats each on the supervisory board.
The call for a change of the fund’s administrative structure had come after it became known that its deficit in the first six months of 2016 had been more than three times the budgeted amount, namely some €33m.
“We can’t continue with this deficit for long, and we have to find solutions to the specific problems,” Rõivas said. He added that the long-term sustainability of the fund’s financing model was an entirely different matter that could only be discussed once the overspending issue had been brought under control.
Rõivas met with Finance Minister Sven Sester (IRL) and Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski on Wednesday to discuss possible solutions to the problem. During the meeting, a point the prime minister made was that any institution running on public money could only spend the budgeted amount, and no more. The Health Insurance Fund couldn’t be made an exception.