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2021 budget proposal for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its branch of government

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
5.10.2020 11.54
Press release 227/2020
Budget 2021

In its budget proposal, the Government proposes appropriations of EUR 17.6 billion for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its branch of government for 2021.

This is about EUR 2.7 billion more than in the 2020 Budget. The increase is mainly due to the coronavirus situation and the growth in unemployment and the number of persons laid off. The COVID-19 epidemic and the consequent weakening of public finances have a significant impact on benefits of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, such as unemployment benefit, housing allowance and basic social assistance.

The budget proposal aims support the prevention and management of the COVID-19 epidemic, ensure the funding and operation of third-sector organisations, and reform pharmaceutical services in accordance with in the guidelines outlined in the road map for pharmaceutical matters. Communicable diseases are prevented as pneumococcal vaccination will be extended to cover the risk groups. The international equality prize will be awarded to promote equality in society.

The appropriations for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its branch of government will be allocated as follows: 29 per cent to pensions, 25 per cent to offsetting family and housing costs and to basic social assistance, 16 per cent to unemployment security, 12 per cent to health insurance, 12 per cent to municipal health and social services, and 2 per cent to grants for the promotion of health and social wellbeing.

Support for COVID-19 testing, prevention and treatment

The Government proposes about EUR 1.7 billion for direct costs arising from the COVID-19 epidemic, such as expenditure related to testing and the expansion of testing capacity, tracing of transmission chains, quarantines, treatment of patients and health security of those travelling. It proposes a total of EUR 1.4 billion for COVID-19 testing until the end of 2021 and EUR 30 million for testing technology.

In addition, the Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 30 million to reimburse additional costs related to the strengthening of health security at border crossing points, excluding costs related to coronavirus testing. Municipalities, joint municipal authorities and the Åland Islands would receive EUR 200 million in support. Municipalities, joint municipal authorities and the Åland Islands could use these funds to cover any direct costs arising from the epidemic, excluding costs related to testing.

The Government is committed to reimbursing municipalities and hospital districts for any costs arising from the epidemic, such as expenditure related to testing and the expansion of testing capacity, tracing of transmission chains, quarantines, treatment of patients, health security of those travelling and a vaccine against the virus. Such costs will be reimbursed in full from outside the spending limits framework as long as the epidemiological situation and the implementation of the hybrid strategy so require.

Financing and activities of organisations, associations and foundations

The Government proposes EUR 362.4 million for grants from the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations STEA. The decrease in the proceeds of Veikkaus Ltd is compensated with EUR 149.2 million in the budget proposal. The proceeds from gambling will be lower than forecast in the 2021 budget proposal for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health issued earlier this spring. This compensation will be financed by reducing the lottery tax, by budget funds with a spending limit impact, and by making use of the non-distributed proceeds in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its branch of government. As regards the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the decrease in the proceeds of Veikkaus Ltd will be compensated with EUR 34.4 million received from reducing the lottery tax and with EUR 114.8 million received from the non-distributed proceeds from gambling. The non-distributed proceeds were produced when the gambling operators merged in 2017.

Reform of pharmaceutical services

The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 5 million to support the developing measures indicated in the road map for pharmaceutical matters. 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.

More funding for pensions, health insurance and basic social assistance

A sum of EUR 4.5 billion will be reserved for offsetting family and housing costs and for basic social assistance and certain other services. This is EUR 211 million more than in 2020. The increase is mainly due to the rise in unemployment caused by the coronavirus epidemic, which will increase the costs of general housing allowance and basic social assistance by about EUR 171 million.

Altogether, EUR 469 million is proposed for the operating expenses of the Social Insurance Institution. This is EUR 28.8 million more than in 2020. 

The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 5.0 billion in total for pensions, which is EUR 91 million more than in 2020.

An appropriation of EUR 2.1 billion is proposed for funding health insurance. This is EUR 164 million more than in 2020. The increase is due to a needs assessment change.

Additional funding for unemployment security

The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.8 billion for unemployment security. This is EUR 0.6 billion more than in 2020. The increase is mainly due to the growth in the number of unemployed and laid off persons caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

Improvement in health and social services

The Government proposes EUR 2.0 million for healthcare and social welfare services organised by municipalities. This is EUR 1.7 billion more than in 2020. The increase is due to costs arising from the coronavirus epidemic, expenditure on student healthcare and increase in the appropriation for project activities, such as the Future Health and Social Services Centres programme.

EUR 23.5 million is proposed for shelters for victims of domestic violence. This sum includes a general increase of EUR 1 million.

EUR 2 million will be reserved for urgent social services for illegal residents.

A government grant of EUR 27.8 million will be awarded to FinnHEMS Oy for helicopter emergency medical services.

Student healthcare for higher education students will be reformed as of 1 January 2021. In future, student healthcare services will be organised by the Social Insurance Institution and provided by the Finnish Student Health Service. These student healthcare services will be available also for students in universities of applied sciences. EUR 65.8 million will be reserved for the purpose.

A total of EUR 10.4 million is proposed for the maintenance and developing of information management in healthcare and social welfare in 2021. A key element of this information management system is the national information system service (Kanta Services), In addition to the maintenance and developing of the Kanta Services, there are other national development needs concerning information management in healthcare and social welfare. These include digital services to promote health and wellbeing, digital toolkits for healthcare and social welfare professionals, and transfer of responsibilities for information systems and data resources to other authorities.

An appropriation of EUR 122.9 million will be reserved for development projects focusing on how information services are organised and implemented (i.e., the service structure). It is approximately EUR 25 million more than in 2020. Appropriations will be allocated also for projects that support the preparation of the health and social services reform and the transfer of responsibility for organising services.

Health sector growth strategy

An appropriation of EUR 5 million is proposed for supporting the growth strategy for the health and social services sector. The measures support the development of national centres of excellence. The centres of excellence refer to the National Cancer Centre, Neurocenter Finland and the biobanks, as well as the Genome Centre and Drug Development Centre already in preparation. A total of EUR 3.2 million is proposed for the operation of a data permit authority administering the use of healthcare and social welfare data.

Promotion of health and functional ability

An appropriation of EUR 37.3 million is proposed for measures to promote health and functional ability. This is EUR 0.3 million more than in 2020. The increase is due to the extension of pneumococcal vaccinations to risk groups.

International Gender Equality Prize and Gender Equality Programme

An appropriation of EUR 0.5 million is proposed for the biannual International Gender Equality Prize. Next time the prize will be awarded in 2021. An appropriation of EUR 0.5 million will be allocated for continuing the Action Plan for Gender Equality and the Equal Pay Programme. The funds will be used to coordinate measures that aim at increasing gender equality in society.

Other research and education

An appropriation of EUR 25 million is proposed for the funding of university-level medical research in healthcare and social work units. Central government will reimburse EUR 96 million to health and social services units for specialised training of healthcare and social welfare personnel.

Support for war veterans, conscripts and their families

The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 241.3 million for the support of war veterans. This is EUR 81.3 million less than in 2020. The main reason for the decrease is that there are fewer veterans every year.

Of this sum, EUR 48.6 million will be allocated for military injuries indemnities, EUR 16 million for the operating costs of institutions for war invalids, EUR 9.9 million for front-line veterans’ supplements and EUR 162.4 million for the rehabilitation of front-line veterans and services provided in their homes.

An appropriation of EUR 3.4 million is proposed for the rehabilitation of disabled veterans’ spouses, widows and war widows, 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. An appropriation of EUR 1.1 million is proposed for the central government’s compensation for the care of those who suffered in the wars.

Farm relief services and temporary help

Costs for relief services to farmers and fur producers will fall by EUR 5.7 million from the previous year and will total EUR 118.9 million. This reduction is due to a needs assessment change. The project ‘Välitä viljelijästä’ supporting farmers to cope will be continued, and an appropriation of EUR 2 million will be reserved for it. An appropriation of EUR 2 million is proposed for the combining of areas in farm relief services. The combining of farm-relief service areas and reducing their number will decrease the expenditure over the longer term and improve the quality of operations.

Inquiries

Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, tel. +358 295 163 410 (general questions)
Timo Lehtinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru, tel. +358 295 163 387 (general questions)
Anna Abrahamsson, Special Adviser to the Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist, tel. +358 295 150 029 (general questions)
Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 163 338 (health and social services reform and service system)
Tuija Kumpulainen, Director-General, tel. +358 295 163 280 (prevention of communicable diseases, pharmaceutical services, vaccination, environmental health, health and wellbeing)
Satu Koskela, Director-General, tel. +358 295 163 380 (health and social services, status of clients and patients, healthcare and social welfare personnel)
Veli-Mikko Niemi, Director-General, tel. +358 295 163 425 (services for children, young people and families, services for people with disabilities, services for older people, rehabilitation, promotion of health and functioning, STEA, war veteran matters)
Heli Backman, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 668 (social insurance matters)
Raimo Antila, Director-General, tel. +358 295 163 094 (developing of work and wellbeing at work, farm relief)
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)
Mikko Staff, Financial Director, tel. +358 295 163 214 (budget)
Tomas Forsström, Head of Financial Planning, tel. +358 295 163 563 (government agencies and public bodies)
Mikko Nygård, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 342 547 (central government transfers and grants to local government)
Marianne Koivunen, Senior Financial Officer, tel. +358 295 163 573 (social insurance)
Satu Seikkula, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 479 (government transfers, central government transfers to local government)
Elina Asola, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 437 (roadmap for pharmaceutical matters)
Susanna Grimm-Vikman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 172 (unemployment benefit)
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)
Tanja Auvinen, Director, tel. +358 295 163 715 (gender equality)
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 (data permit authority, health and social data)

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