Minister on care reform: We have to increase share of home services as well

Väätsa Nursing Home.
Väätsa Nursing Home. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

As of July 1, the care reform will be in effect, meaning that the state will contribute to the cost of a care home placement and the pension will be sufficient to cover the average cost of a placement. Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo (Reform) said that it is vital to increase the proportion of home care services as well.

As a result of the care reform, the state will allocate more funds to local governments, making it more affordable for people receiving services to reside in a care home.

"The local government will use state funds to cover the maintenance component, which accounts for about 50 percent of the total cost of the service. The remainder, which includes lodging, food and other expenses, will be incurred by the customer. The aim is for a person to be able to receive service on their average pension," the minister explained.

The local government has the authority to determine the maximum price that can be charged for nursing home care.

This year, the average monthly cost of eldercare in a nursing home is about €1,300.

Betina Beškina (Center), deputy mayor of Tallinn, said the threshold in Tallinn could be approaching €1,500 in the coming year. This year, the state provided €12 million to Tallinn for care reform. Even though next year the amount could rise to €16 million, Beškina said that there is still a shortage of about €9 million for the city of Tallinn.

"Now everyone has been informed that a nursing home placement in exchange for a pension constitutes a pension, so that must be guaranteed in some way. People turn to the municipalities and asks, 'You have been given the money, so why are not you delivering?' but there is not enough money, and there will be a shortage of places," she said.

Riisalo acknowledged that municipalities may encounter difficulties next year. The minister suggested that the share of home services be raised as well.

"Not only are we reducing people's service fee contributions, but we are also encouraging local governments to place a greater emphasis on person-centered services, such as home care," she said.

The next phase of the care reform is to develop affordable home service for people with minimal support requirements.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Kristina Kersa

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