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2023 draft budget of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its administrative branch

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 5.8.2022 10.34
Press release

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes appropriations of about EUR 15.8 billion for the Ministry and its administrative branch for 2023. This is about EUR 0.2 billion less than in the 2022 Budget. The decrease is mainly due to the end of the Government Programme projects and changes in the needs assessment.

Among other things, the draft budget includes measures to reduce the backlog in healthcare and social welfare services, implement the programme for the availability and adequacy of healthcare and social welfare personnel, and develop unemployment security and rehabilitation of people outside working life. In addition, the appropriations will be used to clarify the adjusting of part-time studies with unemployment benefit and to strengthen entrepreneurs’ earnings-related pensions income.

Of the appropriations for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its branch of government, 32 per cent will be allocated to pensions, 29 per cent to offsetting family and housing costs and to basic social assistance and 14 per cent to unemployment security. Health insurance will account for 14 per cent, healthcare and social welfare organised by municipalities for 3 per cent and grants for the promotion of health and social wellbeing for 2 per cent of the appropriations.

More funding for basic social assistance

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes a sum of EUR 4.6 billion for offsetting family and housing costs and for basic social assistance and certain other services. This is EUR 56.3 million more than in 2022. The increase is mainly due to needs assessment changes in housing benefit and the rise in the operating expenses of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).

Adding real estate tax to eligible housing costs has been taken into account in the general housing allowance, which will increase the government’s share of the costs of the general housing allowance and the housing allowance for pensioners by a total of EUR 1.5 million in 2023. This will compensate for the effects of the real estate tax reform. 

For the operating expenses of the Social Insurance Institution, the Ministry proposes a total of EUR 509.5 million. This is approximately EUR 19 million more than in 2022. In addition to the increase in pension costs and changes in earnings level, the operating expenses take into account the costs of developing the benefit and other services for clients as well as the additional costs caused by the reform of work requirement for wage-earners.

Unemployment security

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.3 billion for unemployment security. This is EUR 0.3 billion less than in 2022. The decrease is due to the estimated fall in the number of unemployed people.

Reforming the work requirement so that it is based on income has been taken into account in unemployment security. As a result of the income-based work requirement, more people than before will fulfil the work requirement and be entitled to earnings-related or basic unemployment allowance. The income-based work requirement does not increase the government’s share of unemployment security expenditure.

The position of unemployed artists and others entitled to copyright remuneration will be improved by discontinuing the adjustment for copyright remuneration. This will increase government expenditure by EUR 1.0 million.

Of the pay subsidies paid in connection with municipalities’ obligation to provide employment, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will fund an amount corresponding to the basic unemployment allowance. It is proposed that this appropriation be transferred to the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The appropriation to be transferred would amount to EUR 25.7 million.

The Government has decided that adjusting part-time studies and unemployment benefit will be clarified and that it will be possible for jobseekers to study and develop their competences more broadly than before without the risk of losing their unemployment benefit. This is estimated to increase government expenditure by EUR 5.0 million.

More funding for health insurance

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.3 billion for health insurance. This is EUR 101 million more than in 2022. The increase is mainly due to changes in the health insurance needs assessment and reimbursements for cross-border healthcare.
 
The increase takes into account EUR 1.0 million in government remuneration for the costs of urgent care for undocumented migrants and EUR 10.0 million in amending the Act on Cross-Border Health Care.

Reimbursements for travel costs paid from health insurance and the maximum price of taxi journeys have been increased for the period of 1 July–31 December 2022 due to the increased fuel prices. This will increase government expenditure by EUR 5.3 million.

The appropriation for health insurance takes into account the changes related to the funding of the minimum staffing level for nurses as savings of EUR 42.7 million in private health care reimbursements and EUR 46 million in medicine savings. The savings in medicines are expected to grow to EUR 60.0 million in 2024.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 4.3 million for the development of rehabilitation allowance benefits and partial sickness allowance. To support the successful rehabilitation of clients outside the labour market and their commitment to rehabilitation, it is proposed that rehabilitation allowance be paid for the waiting and interim period of vocational rehabilitation and by enabling unemployed persons in rehabilitation to work part-time without losing their right to rehabilitation allowance. It is also proposed that the waiting periods be clarified.

The family leave reform, which entered into force in August 2022, will increase the need for appropriations by EUR 5.4 million.

More funding for pensions

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 5.1 billion for pensions. This is EUR 75 million more than in 2022.

In addition, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes changes to the review and verification of entrepreneurs’ earnings-related pension income from 2023 onwards. The proposal aims to ensure that earned income is not set at too low a level in relation to the value of the entrepreneur’s labour input. The amount of earned income under the Self-Employed Persons Pensions Act would be defined more accurately than now, and by way of obligating pension institutions to regularly review the earned income under the Act as regards the insurances in force. The Ministry estimates that the increase in income from insurance contributions would amount to about 6 per cent, which would reduce the government’s share of entrepreneurs’ pension expenditure by EUR 16.3 million.

Support for war veterans, conscripts and their families

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 158.2 million for the support of veterans. It is EUR 34.5 million less than for 2022. The main reason for the decrease is that there are fewer veterans every year. 

Of this sum, EUR 33.0 million will be allocated for military injuries indemnities, EUR 17.0 million for the operating costs of institutions for war invalids, EUR 5.5 million for front-line veterans’ supplements and EUR 100.0 million for the rehabilitation of front-line veterans and services provided in their homes. An appropriation of EUR 2.0 million is proposed for the rehabilitation of disabled veterans’ spouses, for the rehabilitation of those who served in certain war-time tasks and for a front-line allowance for certain foreign volunteer front-line soldiers. The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 0.7 million as central government compensation for the care of those who suffered in the wars.

Support for healthcare and social welfare

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 458.7 million for the healthcare and social welfare organised by local governments. This is EUR 81.1 million less than in the 2022 Budget. The reduction is mainly due to the ending of projects included in the Government Programme.

Of the funding from the EU Recovery and Resilience Plan, the Ministry proposes that EUR 110 million be allocated to reducing the backlog in care, rehabilitation and services in healthcare and social welfare and to speeding up access to care, and EUR 8.5 million to services supporting working capacity and to strengthening mental health and working capacity.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 25.4 million for compensation for national preparedness in healthcare and social welfare. The sum is EUR 25 million more than before. It is proposed that EUR 15 million of this appropriation be reserved for reimbursing the costs of child welfare for children and young people arriving from Ukraine who are within child welfare services and EUR 10 million for launching and reimbursing the operating costs of centres for preparedness in healthcare and social welfare.

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 30 million for the funding of university-level research in healthcare and social work. This is EUR 5.0 million more than in 2022. In addition, EUR 123.7 million is proposed for healthcare and social welfare units for professional specialist education of healthcare and social welfare personnel. This is EUR 27.7 million more than in 2022. Of this increase, EUR 13.7 million is due to the programme on the availability and adequacy of healthcare and social welfare and EUR 14.0 million to reimburse the costs of practical training part of degrees in healthcare and social welfare in universities of applied sciences.

The Government will allocate EUR 67.5 million in funding to student healthcare provided by the Finnish Student Health Service. The sum is EUR 1.7 million more than in 2022. Of this increase, EUR 0.7 million is due to the entry into force of the maximum waiting time guarantee on 1 September 2023 and EUR 1.0 million is due to the measures to strengthen mental health services to improve students’ wellbeing and capacity to study.

A discretionary government grant of EUR 36.6 million is proposed for FinnHEMS Oy for air ambulance and medical helicopter operations. The sum is EUR 3.6 million more than in 2022 and due to the reorganisation of flight operations.

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 24.6 million for shelter activities. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 1.5 million for urgent social services for those who have received a negative asylum decision.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes a discretionary government grant of EUR 1.2 million for the activities of the Centre for Client and Patient Safety in the wellbeing services county of Ostrobothnia.

Promotion of health and functional ability

For the promotion of health and functional ability, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of close to EUR 80.0 million. This is EUR 41.5 million more than in 2022. The increase is mainly due to the appropriation of EUR 35 million proposed for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, an increase of EUR 6.0 million is proposed to cover the rise in the prices of influenza vaccines and EUR 1.5 million to procure pneumococcal vaccines for the risk group of older people.

Support for farm relief services of farmers and fur producers 

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 130.7 million for farm relief services for farmers and fur producers. This is EUR 4.8 million less than in 2022. The decrease is mainly due to the expiration of funding for the ‘Välitä viljelijästä’ project. The project will continue with the help of transferred instalments in 2023. 

Institutions and agencies

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 204.4 million for the operation of the government agencies and public bodies within its administrative branch. The increase includes EUR 1.0 million for the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority for radiation monitoring at border crossings and EUR 0.5 million for the comprehensive reform of the Nuclear Energy Act and EUR 6.5 million for the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare to safeguard its statutory tasks, EUR 1.4 million for the national introduction of the ICD-11 diagnostic classification and EUR 1.4 million for the operations of a national quality register. 

In addition, EUR 0.5 million is proposed for the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) for its tasks under the Tobacco Act, EUR 0.3 million for the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) for strengthening of personnel resources for the assessment of pharmacotherapies and an additional appropriation of EUR 0.3 million for the supervision of the pharmaceutical and device sector. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.9 million for the Social and Health Data Permit Authority.

Grants to associations and foundations

 The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 373.6 million for grants to associations and foundations for the promotion of health and social wellbeing. The sum is EUR 11.2 million more than in 2022. The appropriation takes into account EUR 50.0 million from the dissolution of non-distributed proceeds in the balance sheet and EUR 64.4 million as on-budget compensation.

Kanta Services to be developed further and information production to be reformed 

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 51.8 million for national information management in healthcare and social welfare, including the development of Kanta Services and the reform of information production. The sum is EUR 10.3 million more than in 2022. The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 1.0 million for the preparation of the roadmap for pharmaceutical matters.

Inquiries 

Petra Malin, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 508 (until 10 August, general questions)
Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 410 (from 11 August, general questions)
Sampo Varjonen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 603 (general questions) 
Laura Lindeberg, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 109 (general questions)
Anna Abrahamsson, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 150 029 (general questions, equality)
Kari Hakari, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 163 642    
Taneli Puumalainen, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 280 (pharmaceutical services, vaccine procurement, environmental health)
Satu Koskela, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 380 (status of clients and patients, services)
Heli Backman, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 668 (social insurance matters)
Veli-Mikko Niemi, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 425 (health and social services for children, young people and families, promotion of functioning and health, Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations STEA)
Pasi Pohjola, Director General, tel. +358 259 163 642 (health and social services reform and service system) 
Liisa Siika-aho, Director, tel. +358 295 163 085 (social insurance, benefits, unemployment security and health insurance matters)
Jaana Rissanen, Director, tel. +358 295 163 011 (guarantee pension, compensations for military accidents)
Taru Koivisto, Director, tel. +358 295 163 323 (vaccination programme, appropriations for health promotion)
Mikko Staff, Director of Finance, tel. +358 295 163 214 (budget) 
Tanja Auvinen, Director, tel. +358 295 163 715 (equality)
Minna Saario, Director, tel. +358 295 163 146 (health and social services reform, service digitalisation)


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