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Decisions on spending limits for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Decisions of the government session on spending limits will improve health and social services and pharmaceutical services

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 8.4.2020 14.26 | Published in English on 9.4.2020 at 10.30
Press release 87/2020

According to Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru and Minister of Nordic Cooperation and Gender Equality Thomas Blomqvist, the Government's decisions on spending limits will strengthen health and social services, safeguard pharmaceutical services and promote equality.

Pharmaceutical services will be reformed

EUR 12 million will be reserved for the implementation of a road map for pharmaceutical services. The objectives are to make pharmaceutical services more cost-effective, safeguard pharmaceutical safety and guidance, and secure the availability, accessibility and smooth running of services. Better guidance and knowledge base can also ensure a controlled introduction of new medicines and promote the rational use of medicines. The implementation of the roadmap for pharmaceutical matters is a comprehensive development package that will extend over several government terms.

Binding minimum staffing level for care personnel

The decision on the spending limits takes into account a binding minimum staffing level for care personnel in services for older people and its impacts on appropriations. The binding minimum staffing level will ensure high-quality services for clients in service housing with 24-h assistance and in institutional care. In practice, this means that units for service housing with 24-h assistance and for long-term institutional care must have at least 0.7 employees per client after a transition period. Division of work in support services, among others, will be reviewed in the same connection.

According to the government proposal, discretionary government transfers to municipalities will be increased by EUR 35 million between 2021 and 2022. In addition to the funding included in the previous decision on spending limits, the discretionary central government transfers will be increased by EUR 137.7 million in 2023 and EUR 195.5 million in 2024. An annual increase of EUR 0.5–0.8 million will be allocated to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in connection with the national RAI system (Resident Assessment Instrument).

Additional costs arising from the proposal on a binding minimum staffing level will be financed by a number of savings, the biggest of which will be a EUR 60 million reduction in the state contribution to refunding medicine expenses and a EUR 40 million reduction in the state contribution to refunding the use of private healthcare providers’ services. The reductions will be implemented as of 2023. In addition, enhancing digitalisation, purchased services and competitive tendering aims to achieve a total of EUR 40 million in health and social services savings from 2023 onwards.

Health and social services will be improved and secured

The training of medical specialists for occupational healthcare will be secured by a general increase of EUR 1.0 million from 2023.

The activities of the Finnish Student Health Service will be expanded to cover students of the universities of applied sciences from 2021. An agreement has been made on allocating EUR 65.8 for this purpose.

EUR 10 million from 2023 onwards has been earmarked for the reform of the reimbursement model for cross-border healthcare with regard to the so-called Patient Rights Directive.

A total of EUR 250,000 will be allocated for 2021 and 2022 to safeguard the activities of social sector centres of excellence.

An additional appropriation of EUR 82,000 will be allocated to health and social services for the Sámi-speaking population. The increase is due to the additional needs arising from the ageing of the population and from child welfare activities as well as from psychosocial support for reconciliation processes.

A EUR 160,000 general increase will be made to the operating expenses of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). The appropriation is to be used for monitoring and maintaining information systems in the health and social sector.

Cancer Centre, Neurocentre, biobanks, Genome Centre and the National Pharmaceutical Development Centre will receive support

The national health sector growth strategy will be supported by EUR 5 million in 2021 and 2022. In practice, this means establishing national centres of excellence and developing their activities.

Enhancement of services for children and families

The position of families with children will be improved as an appropriation of EUR 13 million will be allocated for 2021 and 2022 for the development of services for children and families and for continuing the programme to address child and family services.

The funding for shelter activities will increase to EUR 24.6 million by 2022.

A total of EUR 150,000 is allocated annually to ensure the permanent functioning of the Committee for Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (NAPE).

A EUR 0.6 million general increase will be allocated to the activities of family departments in prisons.

Funding for activities of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela

Kela's operating costs will be financed by approximately EUR 470 million annually. Compared to the previous government session on spending limits, an increase in the amount is due to the increased processing volumes and investments in information security.

Funding for research

EUR 1.5 million will be reserved for the membership fees of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI). A general increase of EUR 250,000 will be reserved for securing the resources of the National Committee on Medical Research Ethics.

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health took over the preparations for the Gender Equality Prize

The preparation and coordination of the International Gender Equality Prize was transferred to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in 2020. The prize is awarded once every two years. An appropriation of EUR 500,000 has been earmarked for the prize for 2021 and 2023.

Services for front-line veterans are safeguarded

Elderly care services for front-line veterans are safeguarded with sufficient rehabilitation funding. The need for appropriations will decrease from under EUR 250 million at the beginning of the budget planning period to about EUR 120 million at the end of the budget planning period. The main reason for this is that the number of veterans is diminishing year by year. The appropriations take into account a reform whereby all war veterans will receive the same services provided at home as war invalids. From 1 April 2020, the front-line veteran's supplement will be raised from EUR 50.19 to EUR 125 per month. The increase also applies to front-line veteran's supplement paid to abroad.

Farm relief administration will be reformed

Because of structural development in agriculture, the number of farms eligible for farm relief services will decrease, which will affect the need to merge local units responsible for farm relief activities. A sum of EUR 2 million will be earmarked for combining units in 2021.

Grants to associations and foundations

The amount of grants to associations and foundations will decrease from EUR 360 million to EUR 340 million at the end of the budget planning period. The decrease is due to the revenue forecasts of Veikkaus Oy in autumn 2019. The level of appropriations does not take into account the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on Veikkaus Oy's profit development in 2020, which may also affect the appropriations for 2021.

Inquiries:

Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 410 (general questions)
Timo Lehtinen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 387 (general questions)
Anders Portin, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 150 280 (general questions)
Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 163 338 (general questions)
Mikko Staff, Director of Finance, tel. +358 295 163 214 (general questions)
Päivi Sillanaukee, Director General, tel. 0295 163 (Services, Welfare and Health, Environmental Health, STEA, Veterans)
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Strategy Director , tel. +358 295 163 382 (Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities)
Liisa Siika-aho, Director, tel. +358 295 163 085 (social insurance, benefits)
Tanja Auvinen, Director, tel. +358 295 163 715 (gender equality)
Pasi Pohjola, Director, tel. +358 295 163 585 (health and social services reform and service system)
Heidi Tahvanainen, Director, tel. +358 295 163 540 (pharmaceuticals)
Minna Saario, Director, tel. +358 295 163 146 (health and social services reform and service digitalisation)
Tomas Forsström, Head of Financial Planning, tel. +358 295 163 563 (social insurance)
Lassi Kauttonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 577 (grants from the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations STEA)
Minna Liuttu, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 582 (social insurance)
Satu Seikkula, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 479 (government transfers, central government transfers to local government)
Susanna Grimm-Vikman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 172 (healthcare and social welfare, central government transfers to local government)

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