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Government to allocate 259,474 euros as financial support to social welfare institutions for coverage of additional labour costs incurred due to COVID-19

„Rõõm on tõdeda, et nii üldhooldekodude kui erihoolekande asutuste elanikest on märkimisväärne osa saanud vähemalt ühe vaktsiinidoosi ja pärast kahe doosiga vaktsineerimist pole ka hooldekodude puhangud enam nii laiaulatuslikud,“ ütles sotsiaalkaitseminister Signe Riisalo.

The government has decided to allocate 259,474 euros from its reserve as financial support to social welfare institutions. The support measure will be used to compensate Iru Nursing Home, SA Ida-Viru Keskhaigla, SA Tartu Vaimse Tervise Hooldekeskus, Piigaste Südamekodu OÜ, AS Lõuna-Eesti Hooldekeskus, Maarjamaa Kodud OÜ, OÜ Kuusiku Hooldekodu, AS Viru Haigla, Imastu Hooldekodu OÜ, SA Hooldekodu Härmalõng, and SA Peipsiveere Hooldusravikeskus for additional labour costs incurred due to SARS-CoV-2 cases identified at the aforementioned social welfare institutions.

‘We are pleased to note that a significant number of the residents of both general nursing homes and special care institutions have now received at least one dose of a vaccine, and after vaccination with two doses, outbreaks in care homes are no longer as widespread,’ said Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo. According to the Minister of Social Protection, as vaccination continues, vaccines will be able to be administered to those few individuals and nursing home staff who have yet to be immunised, and thus the measure for compensation for labour costs adopted in early November last year, when there were yet no vaccines, is losing its relevance.

Thus far, social welfare institutions have received support for coverage of additional labour costs, which are reimbursed on the basis of actual incurred costs upon request by the social welfare institution. The allocation of the funds is decided separately by the government for each institution. For this, the Ministry of Social Affairs, in co-operation with the Social Insurance Board and the social welfare institutions, prepares an application and a risk management plan, which is then submitted to the government.

The Social Insurance Board is awaiting applications for additional funding from nursing homes where the incidence of infection is high and where two-dose vaccinations have not yet been completed. In the future, it will be assessed separately for each nursing home applying for support whether two-dose vaccination has been completed for all clients and staff who have requested it. The measure for compensation for labour costs as it stands was developed for a situation where the staff and clients of nursing homes could not be immunised against the virus to the lack of a vaccine; however, the situation has now changed and vaccines have been made available to social welfare institutions by the state.

The Social Insurance Board and the Health Board will continue to provide instructions to nursing homes as well as counsel to their infection control representatives, in order to map the local situation in the event of infection and to assist nursing homes in limiting and preventing the spread of infection. 

In addition, discussions are taking place on how rapid tests could be deployed more widely to prevent outbreaks.

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