According to law, social welfare institutions must be accessible to people regardless of their income, Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik said in regard to rising care home fees.
A large number of care homes will raise prices to accompany the increase in pensions, ERR's online news in Estonian wrote on Tuesday. In Häädemeeste, the price of a place in the local care home will rise from €660 to €900.
Around half of the care centers are property of private sector, the other half of local authorities, so the state does not run any care homes. The state could intervene in the price hike, Kiik said on ETV morning chat show "Terevisioon" Wednesday.
Kiik noted that the government has launched a debate on long-term care and has made a prior agreement to standardize the care home market and to set certain criteria. This year, operating licences regarding safety requirements came into effect.
"The state must ensure that the own contribution of people is clearly regulated so there would be a reasonable limit on how much money can be taken from people and their loved ones and how much should be compensated by the state or the local authorities," Kiik said.
"It is clear that you cannot ask people and their families for more than they can afford. Social welfare institutions must be accessible to people regardless of their income," the minister added.
"The idea is to channel more EU funds to [managing care homes] in order to harmonize prices and pensions. The gap has grown too much and we can see that people's own contribution has grown from around 60 percent to 80 percent. This tendency must be reversed," Kiik said.
Editor: Anders Nõmm