In the final step of a change already underway, starting Saturday, April 1, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) will officially be updating its Estonian-language name from Haigekassa to Tervisekassa.
The new name — which translates literally as "Health Fund" (Tervisekassa), compared with the previous "Sickness Fund" (Haigekassa) — better emphasizes the state institution's ultimate goal, which is to maintain and restore people's health, not just pay medical bills, according to a press release Friday.
Nonetheless, EHIF's primary role in healthcare will remain the provision to patients of the highest possible quality care through the financing of healthcare services.
According to Minister of Health and Labor Peep Peterson (SDE), the name change will not mean a change in the institution's primary role in Estonia's healthcare as a whole.
"EHIF remains the core and keeper of solidarity-based healthcare financing that must ensure that people receive the care they need regardless of the size of their wallets and that publicly tax-funded care is as good quality as possible," Peterson said.
"EHIF wields a very powerful means of influence and tool — the way and for what the EHIF will pay and the data the fund collects," the health minister continued. "These need to be utilized more to achieve people's best possible health outcomes."
EHIF spokesperson Sander Rajamäe confirmed to ERR News on Friday morning that the name change will not affect the fund's English-language name, which will remain the Estonian Health Insurance Fund.
Editor: Aili Vahtla