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Draft budget for 2021 of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its administrative branch

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 13.8.2020 9.39 | Published in English on 13.8.2020 at 10.47
Press release 181/2020

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes appropriations of about EUR 16.6 billion for the Ministry and its administrative branch for 2021. This is about EUR 1.7 billion more than in the 2020 Budget. The increase is mainly due to the growth in unemployment and in the number of persons laid off. The coronavirus 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 draft budget of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will reform pharmaceutical care in accordance with the guidelines set out in the roadmap for pharmaceutical matters. Communicable diseases are prevented as pneumococcal vaccination is extended to cover the risk groups. The international equality prize will be awarded to promote equality in society.

Of the appropriations for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its administrative branch, 30 per cent will be allocated to pensions, 27 per cent to offsetting family and housing costs and to basic social assistance and 21 per cent to unemployment security. Health insurance will account for 12 per cent of the appropriations.

Pharmaceutical services will be reformed

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 5 million to support the development 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 basic social assistance, pensions and health insurance 

The Ministry proposes a sum of EUR 4.6 billion for offsetting family and housing costs, for basic social assistance and certain other services. This is EUR 292 million more than for 2020. The increase is mainly due to the rise in unemployment caused by the coronavirus epidemic, which will increase the benefit costs of general housing allowance and basic social assistance by EUR 240.4 million.

For the operating expenses of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 486 million. It is EUR 46 million more than for 2020. 

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 5.0 billion in total for funding pensions, which is EUR 43 million more than for 2020.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.1 billion for funding health insurance. It is EUR 108 million more than for 2020. The increase is due to a needs assessment change. 

Additional funding also for unemployment security

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 3.5 billion for unemployment security. This is EUR 1.3 billion more than for 2020. The increase is mainly due to the securing of the Employment Fund’s finances and the growth in the number of unemployed and laid off persons caused by the coronavirus epidemic. 

The Ministry proposes that the element financed by the unemployment funds of earnings-related allowance be temporarily reduced by two per cent. That will increase central government costs by EUR 60 million in 2021. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health also proposes that the central government contribute to the costs of earnings-related allowances paid due to lay-offs or reasons comparable to lay-offs by a proportion corresponding to the basic daily allowance. This would safeguard the finances of the Employment Fund. It would increase central government costs by EUR 550 million.

Health and social services will be improved and wellbeing at work promoted

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes EUR 396.5 million for healthcare and social welfare services organised by municipalities. It is EUR 92 million more than in 2020. The rise is due to the student healthcare expenditure and increase in the appropriation for project activities such as the Future Health and Social Services Centres programme and the programme for work and wellbeing at work. 

An appropriation of EUR 52.8 million is proposed to central government transfers to local government for basic public services for implementing amendments (minimum required carer per client ratio of 0.7) to the Act on Care Services for Older Persons. The amendment will enter into force on 1 October 2020. 

For shelter activities, the Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 23.5 million, in which a general increase of EUR 1 million has been taken into account.

The Government will grant a state guarantee of EUR 27.8 million for the helicopter emergency medical service through FinnHEMS Oy.

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

An appropriation of EUR 128.8 million has been allocated for service structure development projects, i.e. how different services are organised and implemented. It is approximately EUR 31 million more than for 2020. EUR 6 million of the increase will be allocated to the development programme for work and wellbeing at work. Funds will also be allocated for projects that support the preparation of the health and social services reform and the transfer of responsibility for organising services.

Supporting health sector growth strategy

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 5 million to support 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. The Government proposes a total of EUR 3.2 million to be allocated for the operation of a data permit authority administering the use of health and social data.

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 EUR 42 million. It is EUR 4 million more than for 2020. This increase is due to the extension of pneumococcal vaccinations to risk groups.

International Gender Equality Prize and Gender Equality Programme

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 0.5 million 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 equality in society.

Other research and education

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 25 million for the funding of university-level research in healthcare and social work. Central government will reimburse EUR 96 million to the social and healthcare units for specialised training of social and healthcare personnel. 

Support for war veterans, conscripts and their families

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 241.3 million for the support of veterans. It is EUR 81.3 million less than for 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.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 3.4 million 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. The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 1.1 million as the central government’s compensation for the care of those who suffered in the wars.

Farm relief services and temporary help

Expenditure on farm relief for farmers and fur producers will decrease 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 Välitä viljelijästä (Consideration for farmers) project will be continued, and appropriations have been reserved for the project for 2021–2022 as well. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 2 million to be allocated for combining 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.

Grants to associations and foundations

For grants to associations and foundations to help them promote health and social welfare, the Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 310 million. It is EUR 70 million less than for 2020. This is due to the uncertainty of Veikkaus Oy’s estimate of yield, which is mainly due to the restrictive measures caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

Agencies, institutions and international organisations

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 216.9 million for the operation of the government agencies and public bodies within its administrative branch. Additional appropriations include EUR 2 million for safeguarding the research operation of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, EUR 1.4 million for the coordination work of quality and effectiveness information at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and EUR 1 million for information management investments, EUR 0.8 million for developing the medical information resources and for the assessment of pharmacotherapies of the Finnish Medicines Agency, and EUR 0.7 million for strengthening the supervision and management tasks of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). 

The voluntary funding for the World Health Organization will continue with an appropriation of EUR 5.5 million.

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 Minister of 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)
Päivi Sillanaukee, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 356 (environmental health, vaccination programme)
Tuija Kumpulainen, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 280 (health and wellbeing, Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations STEA, war veteran matters)
Annakaisa Iivari, Director Generel, tel. +358 295 163 371 (services)
Heli Backman, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 668 (social insurance matters)
Raimo Antila, Director General, tel. +358 295 163 094 (development programme for work and wellbeing at work, and farm relief services)
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 to local government and grants)
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 Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 437 (roadmap for pharmaceutical matters)
Susanna Grimm-Vikman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 172 (unemployment security)
Minna Liuttu, Senior Ministerial 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, service digitalisation)
Jukka Lähesmaa, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 139 (data permit authority, health and social data)