Council of the Health Insurance Fund approved the wage increase for health care professionals
At the meeting of the Council of the Health Insurance Fund, the year 2013 budget of the Health Insurance Fund passed the second reading, establishing the changes needed to ensure the agreed wage increase for doctors, among other things. The list of health services about to enter into force on 01.03.2013 was also discussed. In addition, the 9-month report of the Health Insurance Fund was presented to the Council. The planned expenditures of the Health Insurance Fund are 841.3 million euros in the coming year. The main priorities in the next year’s budget are health care professionals’ wage increase, the addition of new health services to the list, and the broadening of long-term care opportunities. “In keeping with the preliminary agreement concluded between health care professionals and the Estonian Hospitals Association, the duration of a medical specialist’s out-patient visit will be prolonged and the workload of doctors and nurses with regard to bed-days will be changed starting from March. This means that doctors and nurses will be able to dedicate more time to a patient,” says Hanno Pevkur, Chairman of the Council of the Health Insurance Fund. “In addition, the wages of doctors, nurses as well as care workers will increase in accordance with a prior agreement,” Pevkur adds. The duration of the initial out-patient visit will be extended by 5 minutes, the duration of in-patient doctor’s visits by 4 minutes and nurse’s visits by 17 minutes starting from 1 March. In 2013, the Health Insurance Fund plans to increase the wages of doctors by 6.1%, those of nurses by 9.7%, and those of care workers by 13.7%. By the end of 2014, the wages of health care professionals should have increased by 11, 17 and 22%, respectively, compared to the current level. “The long-term care budget will also increase by 13% in the coming year. The primary focus is on improving the availability of long-term in-patient care, but we also find it important to make home nursing care more accessible,” says Chairman of the Management Board of the Health Insurance Fund Tanel Ross. The budget of long-term in-patient care will increase by 14% and that of home nursing care by 9% in the next year. The Council will reconvene to approve the 2013 budget of the Health Insurance Fund on 11 January.