Press release: Council of the Health Insurance Fund approved the budget for 2013
Today, the Council approved the Health Insurance Fund’s budget for 2013 and its development plan for the years 2013 to 2016. Together with the budget, the Council also approved a new list of health services. The following year’s budget gives priority to health care professionals’ wage increase. The main update in general medical care consists of funding for a second family nurse and the e-consultation service, while the main change in specialised medical care lies in the extended duration of consultations. Treatment options in orthopaedics, radiotherapy and rehabilitation will be broadened, long-term care will become more available, the queues for several types of surgery will be shortened. In addition, the Council approved Kuldar Kuremaa as a new Management Board member of the Health Insurance Fund. The amount of the Health Insurance Fund’s next year’s budget is 7% greater compared to 2012. 832 million euros have been planned as budgetary revenues for 2013 and 841 million as expenditures. 9 million euros’ worth of retained earnings are planned to be used to cover expenses. Nearly 605 million euros of the health insurance budget will be spent on health services. The funding of general medical care and long-term care will be increasing at a higher than average rate. Over 77 million euros are planned for the supply of general medical care, 479 euros for specialised medical care, and 21 million euros for long-term care. The Health Insurance Fund has allotted nearly 109 million euros to reimburse for medicinal products and over 90 million to the payment of benefits for temporary incapacity for work. According to the Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas, the budget increase makes it possible to continue providing the best medical care to Estonian patients. “The health care professionals’ wage increase, the addition of a second family nurse, and a longer medical specialist’s consultation time all contribute to the improving availability of medical care to the patient,” the Minister said. “The fact that funding for long-term care substantially increases this year should also be considered a very important step,” Rõivas added. Together with the budget, the Council also approved the list of health services that enters into force on 1 March. “Several new services that improve the availability of contemporary treatment will be added to the list this year. For example, in the field of oncology, both diagnostic and treatment options will improve, and group therapies will be added to rehabilitation. Another positive fact is that we can increase the number of endoprostheses and shorten treatment queues. It should also not go unmentioned that we will continue to reinforce the family physician system. Paying for a second family nurse and adding e-consultations will improve the chances of the insured to receive competent general medical care,” says Chairman of the Management Board of the Health Insurance Fund Tanel Ross. The 2013 budget of the Health Insurance Fund can be viewed here. The Council also approved the development plan of the Health Insurance Fund; the main tasks for the next 4 years are as follows: - To ensure the accessibility of services, medical devices and benefits by making good use of the health insurance budget - To support excellence in the health care system - To raise people’s awareness and guide their health behaviour - To improve organisation The development plan of the Health Insurance Fund for the years 2013 to 2016 is available here. The new Management Board member Kuldar Kuremaa will be dealing with the areas of finance and IT in the Health Insurance Fund. Kuremaa has had contacts with the health care sector before, having worked as the Director of Finances at the National Institute for Health Development and at the East-Tallinn Central Hospital. Kuremaa will enter office on 21 January.