The Baltic health ministers Tanel Kiik, Ilze Viņķele and Aurelijus Veryga adopted a joint statement on coronavirus stressing the importance of solidarity and mutual support between the countries. Ministers reaffirm their intention to provide mutual assistance to improve health system preparedness as well as to cope with possible outbreaks.
On the 28 of February, Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik sent the Members of the Government the suggestions on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The workgroup led by the Minister of Social Affairs also proposed to expand the regional capacity for testing against the coronavirus and install infrared cameras to the airport and harbour to detect the potentially infected persons among those arriving from risk areas.
Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein together with Estonian co-financing will invest a total of 21.2 million euros to physical activity of children, social security and regional development in Estonia. The activities of the European Economic Area and Norwegian Grants programme „Local Development and Poverty Reduction” also deal with educational support services to local governments, introducing restorative justice measures when dealing with children and youth at risk and preserving cultural heritage in historic town centres.
The Minister added that the digital revolution in the world of work can also lead to occupational safety and health risks, for the prevention of which a digital work information system is being developed in Estonia, helping employees, employers and different agencies to prevent risks arising from the working environment by exchanging information between different databases.
In 2018 more than 100 000 new participants have joined the genome project. The state will allocate another 2.3 million euros for 2019 to enable at least 50 000 more people to join the Estonian Biobank. In the next phase of the project during the years 2019-2022 the plan is to integrate genetic data as a part of the everyday medical practice, to give people feedback about their personal genetic risks.
From today, January 21, it will be possible to buy prescription medicines from Estonian pharmacies with a digital prescription issued in Finland. Estonians will have the opportunity to buy prescription drugs outside Estonia by the end of 2019. Estonia and Finland will become the first two countries in Europe to exchange digital prescription data.
Estonia has started a program to recruit and genotype 100,000 new biobank participants as part of its National Personalized Medicine programme. Effort aims to develop personalized medicine in national healthcare.
The Estonian Government will allocate 5 million euros next year to a joint development project of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the National Institute for Health Development and the Estonian Genome Center of the University of Tartu. The project aims to collect the genetic data of 100 000 people and integrate it into everyday medical practice by giving people feedback of their personal genetic risks. The general purpose of the project is to boost the development of personalised medicine in Estonia.
Today, at the Cabinet Meeting, the Estonian Government approved the National HIV Action Plan for the years 2017-2025, developed in cooperation of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the National Institute for Health Development.