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The administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s budget proposal for 2019

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 9.8.2018 10.50
Press release 110/2018
The administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s budget proposal for 2019

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health's 2019 budget proposal for its administrative branch totals about EUR 14.97 billion.

The figure is about EUR 36,8 million less than in the 2018 Budget. The reduction is mainly due to employment growth.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health's draft budget improves the position of adoption and multiple-birth families, improves the access of entrepreneurs' family members to unemployment security and prevents inequalities by raising the level of minimum daily allowances and guarantee pensions.

The draft budget of the Ministry lengthens the paternity benefit period for multiple-birth fathers and gives single mothers the right to parental allowance days that correspond to paternity allowance.

Research and innovation activities will be strengthened by establishing a national licensing authority to administer the use of data stored by the health and social services and a new national pharmaceutical development centre.

Of the appropriations for the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 31% is allocated to pensions, 29% to compensating family and housing costs and 16% to unemployment security. Health insurance accounts for 16 per cent of the appropriations.

Inequalities will be reduced

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes that the minimum parental allowances, rehabilitation allowances and special care allowances be raised to the same level as labour market support. This will reduce inequalities. The daily allowances would increase by EUR 80,50 per month. The total costs arising from these changes to the state would amount to about EUR 18.9 million.

The criteria for vocational rehabilitation of young people would be eased. The Ministry also proposes that young people would receive rehabilitation allowance during the whole period of the rehabilitation decision. These changes would support young people in their studies and employment. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health also proposes that the annual income limits for drug reimbursements would be reduced. The impact of this change to the central government transfers would be EUR 5 million. In addition, the Ministry proposes that health insurance reimbursements for private treatment provided in public facilities would continue until the end of 2022.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health would reserve EUR 10 million for increasing guarantee pension  by approximately EUR 9 per month. The Ministry estimates that the increase of guarantee pension would reduce the cost of basic social assistance by EUR 0.7 million.  Pension subsidy, rehabilitation allowance for young people and the minimum daily allowance for vocational rehabilitation would be raised to the same level as guarantee pension. The limit of earnings for suspending a pension would also be raised to guarantee pension's level.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 4.6 billion for pensions.

Position of adoption and multiple-birth families will be improved and residence-based social security will be reformed

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes that paternity allowance would be prolonged for multiple-birth fathers and that single mothers would get the right to parental allowance days that correspond to paternity allowance. The Ministry also proposes that the parental allowance period would be prolonged for adoptive parents. According to the budget proposal, the adoption support for international adoptions would be raised by EUR 0.3 million.

In addition, the Ministry proposes that the provisions determining the grounds for parental allowances would be revised so that performing tasks as an elected municipal official would not be considered as gainful employment anymore. This change would make it possible to pay parental allowance at the full amount for days when a parent is carrying out duties as an elected official.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health also proposes that residence-based social security will be reformed so that employees coming to Finland would not need to meet any requirements concerning the duration of their employment relationship and weekly working hours but, instead, the right to residence-based benefits would be based on a minimum income.  On the other hand, the right to Finnish social security would be tightened for people working or living abroad.  The right of foreign students to residence-based social security would be clarified, too.

Differences in higher education students' health and wellbeing will be reduced

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes that from 2020 on, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) would be the organiser of student healthcare services for higher education. The Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS) would provide the services. This would narrow the health and wellbeing differences between students studying in universities and universities for applied sciences, and ensure equal services that function well. The 2019 budget proposal reserves EUR 3 million for preparing the change concerning YTHS and almost EUR 1 million for Kela's operating expenses.

Regarding shelter services, the Ministry proposes EUR 2 million more than in 2018. The appropriation for shelter services would then be EUR 19.6 million. For treatment of mothers suffering from substance abuse, the ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 3 million, the same sum as in 2018. Central government funding for medical and medical helicopter operations would be the same as for 2018, i.e. approximately EUR 29 million.

Access of entrepreneurs' family members to unemployment security will be made easier

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes that the access of entrepreneurs' family members to unemployment security would be made easier. The Ministry proposes that the provisions on unemployment fund membership would be revised to make it easier for entrepreneurs' family members to transfer their membership to an entrepreneurs' unemployment fund if they had by mistake registered themselves as members of a wage-earners' fund. The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 10 million for this purpose. In addition, the unemployment security regulations supporting people to accept short-term work would be further developed. The Ministry proposes EUR 20 million for this improvement of incentives to accept work.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.36 billion for unemployment security. The figure is about EUR 309 million less than in the 2018 Budget. The reduction is mainly due to the drop in the unemployment rate. In addition, the Ministry proposes that in 2019, too, wage-subsidised work will be financed from unemployment benefit appropriations and from employment funds.

National vaccination programme will be extended

The national vaccination programme would be reformed. The influenza vaccinations for children would be extended and the vaccine used for adults would be replaced by a more effective medicinal product. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 4.8 million for these reforms.

For the promotion of health and functional ability, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 40.8 million. This is an increase of EUR 6.2 million from 2018. The Ministry also proposes an increase of EUR 0.8 million for the health promotion appropriation. This would safeguard the promotion of health and the development of social sector in connection with the health and social services reform.

A new licensing authority and a pharmaceutical development centre will be established in Finland

As part of the research and innovation activities within the healthcare sector, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes EUR 3.4 million for the establishment of a new licensing authority to administer the use of data stored by the health and social services. Of this, EUR 1.8 million would be reserved for one-off investments. This new licensing authority would ensure that licences to use health and social services' information resources could be obtained from one place and that the information would be utilised better than ever for the health and social services reform.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes EUR 1.5 million for the first phase of the establishment of a national pharmaceutical development centre in 2019. To ensure the progress of the functions of a national cancer centre and a genome centre, the Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 4.2 million.

The aim of these measures is that Finland would be at the forefront and would be a sought-after partner in top healthcare research, which utilises genome research and health and social service data resources. In addition, the aim is to initiate new business activities benefiting the health and social services sector and to create jobs in Finland.

Other research and education

The state would finance university-level research in healthcare service units by EUR 21 million and reserve EUR 96 million in state remuneration for medical and dental training in these units. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes that both sums would remain approximately at the same level as in 2018. The appropriation for remuneration for training includes EUR 1.3 million for training of specialist social workers and EUR 0.5 million for training in symptomatic treatment and limited prescribing right. The Ministry proposes an increase of EUR 0.15 million for mediation in criminal cases.

For the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s key international partner in health policies, WHO, the ministry proposes a sum of EUR 2.0 as non-assigned voluntary funding.

Support for war veterans, conscripts and their families

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 179.2 million for the support of veterans. This would be EUR 11.1 million less than in 2018. The main reason for this is that number of war veterans is reducing year by year.

Of this sum, EUR 85.4 million would be allocated to military injuries indemnities, EUR 38 million to the operating costs of institutions for disabled veterans, EUR 9.5 million to field allowances and EUR 38.4 million to the rehabilitation of front-line veterans.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 6.6 million to the rehabilitation of disabled veterans’ spouses, widows and war widows, to the rehabilitation of those who served in certain war-time tasks and to some foreign volunteer front-line soldiers as a front-line allowance. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 1.3 million as the central government’s compensation for the care of those who suffered in the wars.

The Ministry proposes the enactment of a new additional compensation to persons that have become disabled while performing military service and to close relatives of persons who have died while performing military service. The cost of the new compensation would be about EUR 2.5 million per year. The cost has been reserved in the Ministry of Finance main title.

Farm replacement activities and temporary help

Farmers' and fur producers’ farm replacement costs would fall by EUR 11 million from the previous year and would total EUR 152 million. The change is due to a new estimate of the need for service and that the  EUR 1 million funding for a project supporting farmers’ wellbeing. will come to its end.

Grants to associations and foundations

For grants to associations and foundations to help them promote health and social welfare, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of almost EUR 361.9 million. The appropriation would be 3.9 million more than in 2018, because of a more precise yield estimate and the reduced need to finance other items by Veikkaus Oy's revenue.

Health and social services reform and service digitalisation

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will continue to prepare the health and social services reform and to support the preparation of counties in accordance with a new time schedule. The Ministry's resources for the reform will be at the same level as in 2018. The funding allocated to the preparation and support of the regional government, health and social services reform belongs to the appropriations of the Ministry of Finance, which the ministries use collectively. 

For the national support of the regional government, health and social services reform, the digitalisation of public administration and services, and for the ICT investments required for regional and national services, the ministries propose a total appropriation of EUR 213.0 million for 2019. Once the Freedom of Choice Act has been adopted, freedom of choice pilot projects will be launched to support the implementation of the Freedom of Choice Act as part of the health and social services reform. The total amount of funding reserved for the pilot projects is EUR 200 million.

Inquiries

Niina Perälä, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 107 (general questions)
Kari Synberg, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 106 (general questions)
Elina Das Bhowmik, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 109 (general questions)
Satu Mäki-Lassila, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 110 (general questions)
Kirsi Varhila, Director-General, tel. +358 295 163 338 (health and social services reform and service system)
Markku Tervahauta, Director-General, tel. +358 295 163 167 (services, health and wellbeing, environmental health, Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations STEA, war veteran matters)
Outi Antila, Director-General, tel. +358 295 163 164 (social insurance matters)
Liisa Siika-aho, Director, tel. +358 295 163 085 (social insurance matters, benefits)
Hannu Ijäs, Director, tel. +358 295 163 248 (guarantee pension, compensations for military accidents)
Essi Rentola, Director, tel. +358 295 163 155 (residence-based social security)
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Director of Strategic Affairs, tel. +358 295 163 382 (Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities)
Taru Koivisto, Director, tel. +358 295 163 323 (vaccination programme, appropriations for health promotion)
Mikko Staff, Financial Director, tel. +358 295 163 214 (budget)
Tomas Forsström, Head of Financial Planning, tel. +358 295 163 563 (agencies and public bodies)
Susanna Grimm-Vikman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 172 (social welfare and healthcare, central government transfers to local government, unemployment security)
Marianne Koivunen, Senior Financial Officer, tel. +358 295 163 573 (social insurance)
Taina Korpi, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 166 (discretionary government transfers, central government transfers to local government)
Minna Liuttu, Senior Financial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 582 (social insurance)
Lassi Kauttonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 577 (grants from the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations STEA)
Minna Saario, Director, tel. +358 295 163 146 (health and social services reform and service digitalisation)
Jukka Lähesmaa, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 139 (licensing authority for the use of health and social data)

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