Leading ministers at the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs are requesting around €26 million in funding from the government to cover additional costs expected to be incurred in the treatment and care of coronavirus patients this year.
"The allocated funds will compensate for the additional costs incurred in providing specialized care and nursing for COVID-19 patients. If the average number of COVID-19 patients in hospital goes up, then the costs for ambulance staff will increase. Patients will be treated in hospitals using medication specifically for COVID-19," says the explanatory memorandum to the request, which was submitted by Minister of Health and Labor Minister Peep Peterson (SDE) and Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo (Reform).
The ministers are requesting a total of €25,714,700 from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) to cover COVID-related costs for the current year.
According to the ministers' request, the extra funding would be divided between care homes responsible for treating coronavirus patients, and hospitals, which are set to receive four types of medication designed to combat the virus. Ambulance workers would also be in line to receive additional overtime pay for overtime.
The request outlines, that 7,200 patients are expected to require specialist care due to coronavirus over the course of the current year, while a further 3,700 patients will need inpatient nursing services.
Ministers are asking for €11.2 million to cover the cost of specialist care for coronavirus patients, along with €5.8 million for nursing. An additional €2.2 million would then be earmarked for ambulance services and €6.5 million for the cost of hospital admissions.
Editor: Michael Cole