The budget of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund for 2012 passed the first reading

The budget of health insurance for 2012 passed the first reading at the Council of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. The major amendments of the following year include abolishing the coefficient temporarily established for the prices of health services, increasing the funding of family doctors, significantly improving the treatment opportunities of diabetics and adding several new evidence-based health services.

According to the Chairman of the Council of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, the Minister of Social Affairs Hanno Pevkur, the best message for the patients is that the availability of health services will improve: next year, more money will be allocated to all providers of health services, since the coefficient established for the prices of health services in the autumn of 2009 will be abolished and new treatment opportunities will be added.

“I am glad that the so-called recession coefficient can be abolished and new services can be added to the list of health services. For example, establishment of the requirement of a council for improving the quality of cancer treatment, creating better opportunities for diabetics, funding the transplantation of lung and liver, etc. Also, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the Estonian Association of Family Doctors worked hard on the improvement of the first contact care of patients and agreed on the necessary amendments,” noted Pevkur.

The Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, Hannes Danilov, also highlighted the changes in the funding of family doctors prepared in cooperation with the Estonian Association of Family Doctors, which contribute to the better functioning of the general medical care system. “Next year, the differentiation of capitation fees paid to family doctors will increase by age groups. In addition, the money stock and the distance fee aimed at family doctors working in rural areas will increase. The volume of the research fund will also increase by 2% and the third level of the research fund will be added to those who achieve good results in the quality system,” noted Danilov.

At today’s meeting, the Council approved new lists for health services as well as for medical devices. The lists will enter into force on 1 January 2012. A total of 30 new services will be added to the list of health services. Several significant changes will also be made in the list of medical devices, which improve the availability of medical devices intended for diabetics and enable improving the quality of the treatment of diabetes. In addition, the choice of other medical devices will be expanded.

The preliminary amount of expenditure of health insurance forecast for the following year is 787 million euros. The planned income is 781 million euros and 5.8 million euros of retained profits are planned to be used for covering expenses. The Council will come together for the second reading of the budget on 25 November.