The government approved the allocation of 213 million euros to cover extraordinary health care costs
The government approved the allocation of 213 million euros to cover extraordinary health care costs. In total, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund will be allocated more than € 213.2 million from the 2020 supplementary budget to cover extraordinary health care costs, of which nearly € 40.7 million will be for temporary incapacity benefits and € 172.5 million for the health care system.
At today's meeting, the government approved a regulation setting out the conditions for covering benefits and additional health care costs paid through the health insurance fund in an emergency. In total, the EHIF will be allocated more than € 213.2 million from the 2020 supplementary budget to cover extraordinary health care costs, of which nearly € 40.7 million will be for incapacity benefits and € 172.5 million for the health care system.
"Both the treatment of COVID-19 patients and raising the readiness of medical institutions for a possible major outbreak have brought additional extraordinary costs to health care," said Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik. "With additional money, we support the work of our hospitals, doctors, ambulance workers, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Also, we can compensate for the first three days of illness, so that people can remain in isolation at home immediately if they become ill and their income is maintained as much as possible in the current difficult economic situation. ”
The largest part of the extraordinary costs in the health care system is the need for additional funding for hospitals and specialist care in the amount of almost 150 million euros, which is primarily related to the increase of the intensive care capacity of hospitals and includes both staff and medical costs.
To ensure quality medical care, hospitals purchase additional equipment, including ventilators, and in some cases construction work is required to install partitions or rebuild hospital entrances. The costs of medicines, personal protective equipment, disinfection and waste management will increase significantly. 2.1 million euros have been calculated to increase the stock of medicines for hospitals.
At primary level, the additional costs of coronavirus control are estimated at EUR 7.8 million. Among other things, this money covers the work of emergency medical centers, the service of patients without a family doctor, the provision of emergency care to uninsured people, the purchase of personal protective equipment and the additional costs of the family doctor's advice line 1220. The additional cost of nursing care is 7.5 million euros and in the case of ambulance 5.1 million euros.
40.7 million will be allocated to compensate for the increased use of sick and care leaves due to the COVID-19 virus and for the first three days of sick leaves from the time the emergency is imposed until the end of May. According to the regulation, EHIF pays for the first three days in the case of sick leave issued to all employed persons from 13 March 2020 until the end of the emergency. Temporary incapacity benefit is 70% of the average income, the average income per calendar day is calculated on the basis of the Health Insurance Act. Reimbursement of sick leave days from the first day helps to ensure that a person does not go to work when ill or exposed to an infection, but remains in isolation.
The regulation will be applied retroactively from the beginning of the emergency situation, ie on 13 March 2020.
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