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German health insurance alliance given overview of Estonian e-health system

Estonia has long since switched from paper to digital prescriptions.
Estonia has long since switched from paper to digital prescriptions. Source: Postimees/Scanpix

A delegation from the German Health Insurance Alliance (VDEK) paid a visit to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund this week in order to receive an overview of Estonia's e-health system and IT solutions.

The German delegation met with the board of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) and Deputy Secretary General on E-services Development and Innovation Ain Aaviksoo.

"We consider international as well as internal cooperation within the EU extremely important both for health insurance and the whole healthcare system," Estonian Health Insurance Fund CEO Tanel Ross said in a press release. "Estonia and Germany are among many countries faced with the challenge of ensuring solidary health insurance in an aging society, in which the working-age population is decreasing, the roles of patients and healthcare workers are changing and responsibility is increasing.

According to Ross, digital solutions, which are more integrated than ever into the daily lives of doctors and patients alike, are increasingly important in an aging society. "Innovation and cooperation between countries are of key importance when aspiring toward values like dignified aging, healthy living and the average life expectancy," he added.

The visiting German healthcare leaders were also given an overview of family doctors' information system and e-consultation as well as the family nurse helpline at Järveotsa Family Medical Center. The delegation also visited North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH), where they were given an overview of the hospital's information systems, the hospital's emergency department and Estonian telemedicine solutions.

The 12-strong delegation was in Estonia on Thursday and Friday and included VDEK chairman Ulrike Elsner. The visit also included representatives of the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societie (AIM), which includes the Estonian Health Insurance Fund as a representative of Estonia.

VDEK represents six different health insurance funds operating in Germany, which offer health insurance to a total of more than 26 million people.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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