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Estonian government backs directing additional €300 million into healthcare

Healthcare funding will increase by over €300 million over the next few years.
Healthcare funding will increase by over €300 million over the next few years. Source: (Tairo Lutter/Postimees/Scanpix)

The Estonian government on Thursday approved amendments to laws connected to the funding of healthcare according to which the income basis of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund would be increased by directing an additional €300 million into healthcare over the next five years, including €34 million in 2018.

"In April, the government decided to make additional contributions to healthcare for nonworking pensioners as of next year," Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) was quoted by spokespeople as saying. "It is the most important decision of this government because it substantially relieves the problem of underfinancing which has plagued the healthcare system for a long time."

Better and more accessible medical assistance is one of his most important priorities, noted the minister. "With this decision, the additional funding of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund will gradually increase to 13 percent of the pension of old-age pensioners by 2022, which would additionally bring in more than €300 million to the Health Insurance Fund over five years," he said, adding that this would help to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare services in Estonia.

The aim of the amendments is to increase the income basis of the Health Insurance Fund in stages. For that, additional contributions would be made to the fund's budget — 7 percent of the pension of nonworking old-age pensioneers in 2018, 10 percent in 2019, 11 percent in 2020, 12 percent in 2021 and 13 percent in 2022. This amounts to 89 million euros in 2018, 133 million in 2019, 153 million in 2020, and 176 million euros in 2021.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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