2020 budget proposal for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its administrative branch
In its budget proposal, the Government proposes appropriations of EUR 14.8 billion for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its administrative branch for 2020.
This is about EUR 256 million less than in the 2019 Budget. The decrease is mainly due to employment growth and to the lowering of the temporary reduction in employers’ health insurance contributions.
Among other things, the Budget will improve basic social security and increase pensions for those on the lowest pensions. The situation of families with children will improve as services for children and families will be enhanced. The Government proposes that Child Advocacy Centres will be set up in Finland to help children who are victims of sexual offences.
The so-called single-parent increment linked to child benefits will be increased. Child maintenance allowance will also be increased, as well as child benefits for the fourth and each additional child.
Research and innovation will be strengthened by continuing the national health sector growth strategy and by starting the work of a new data permit authority for administering the use of health and social services data. In addition, health and social services will be improved by, for example, providing further details concerning the maximum waiting times for access to care and the minimum number of personnel in units providing care for older people.
Of the appropriations for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its administrative branch, 34% will be allocated to pensions, 29% to offsetting family and housing costs and to basic social assistance and 15% to unemployment security. Health insurance accounts for 13%, promotion of health and social wellbeing for 3% and healthcare and social welfare organised by municipalities for 2% of the appropriations. In addition, municipalities’ health and social services will receive funding from central government transfers for basic public services.
Increases in child benefits and child maintenance allowance
Both the single-parent increment to child benefits and the child benefits for the fourth and each additional child will be raised by EUR 10 from the start of 2020. Similarly, the single-parent increment linked to social assistance will be increased by around EUR 20 so that families who live on social assistance will also benefit from the increase. The Government proposes an increase of EUR 7 in the child maintenance allowance. A total of EUR 36.3 million has been reserved for these reforms.
A sum of EUR 4.3 billion will be reserved for offsetting family and housing costs, for basic social assistance and certain other services. This is EUR 92 million less than in 2019. The decrease is mainly due to lower needs estimates for housing allowance and basic social assistance.
Increasing small pensions
Small pensions will be increased. The full amount of the national pension will be increased by about EUR 34 and the full amount of the guarantee pension by EUR 50 per month. The increase will be targeted at those whose total pension is less than EUR 1,200 a month for couples and less than EUR 1,300 a month for persons living alone. The net costs to general government arising from this amount to EUR 183 million.
The funding contributions for farmers’ accident insurance will be revised. This will save EUR 1 million in central government expenditure and increase the costs for the insured by EUR 1.4 million. The revision of the calculation basis for treatment costs used by the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution to better match actual costs will increase central government costs by about EUR 5 million.
The Government proposes an additional appropriation of EUR 438.9 million to be allocated to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).
Improvement in basic security
The Government will implement an increase of EUR 20 for basic security, which means the minimum rehabilitation allowance, sickness allowance, parenthood allowance, unemployment security basic daily allowance, and labour market support. The costs to central government arising from this amount to EUR 39.6 million.
The Government also proposes that the fixed term for using conditional reimbursement status in the medicine reimbursement system will be continued. The objective is to gain more experience of a model where the economic risk of introducing new medicines is divided between the pharmaceutical industry and society.
The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 28.4 million for rehabilitative work, which is EUR 1.5 million more than in 2019. The increase is due to the growing number of clients.
The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 1.98 billion for funding health insurance. This is EUR 450 million less than in 2019. The decrease is mainly due to the lowering of the temporary reduction in employers’ health insurance contributions.
Unemployment security will be improved
The reductions and obligations of the activation model will be dismantled. The costs to central government arising from this amount to EUR 13.7 million. The Government will also raise the minimum age for additional days of unemployment allowance for employees. In future, a person born in 1961 or later must have reached the age of 62 in order to be entitled to additional days. At the same time, the limit for employers’ liability to contribute to the expenses for additional days of unemployment allowance will rise by one year. The amendments to the minimum age for additional days are due to enter into force on 1 January 2020 and will save EUR 23 million in central government expenditure. The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.23 billion for unemployment security. This is EUR 135 million less than in 2019. The decrease is mainly due to employment growth.
The attainment of the Government’s employment goal will also be supported through a programme promoting the work capacity of people with impaired work capacity, a development programme for work and wellbeing at work and by continuing the financing of pay subsidies from the appropriation for unemployment benefits. The programme promoting the work capacity of people with impaired work capacity will be a collaboration between the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. It will be allocated a total of EUR 33 million in 2020, of which the share of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health amounts to EUR 4.5 million. A total of EUR 1 million will be reserved for 2020 for launching a development programme for work and wellbeing at work.
Enhancement of services for children and families
An appropriation of EUR 10 million will be allocated in 2020 to improve services for children and families and to continue the programme addressing child and family services.
A sum of EUR 21.6 million will be reserved for shelter activities, and EUR 2 million of that sum will be allocated to increasing the number of places in shelters. For the treatment of mothers suffering from substance abuse, the Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 1.5 million.
Child Advocacy Centres will be set up in Finland to help children who are victims of sexual offences. The centres would be able to investigate and prevent sexual offences against children. The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 1.6 million for the Child Advocacy Centres in 2020. So-called satellite centres will be established alongside SERI Support Centres, which are service centres for victims of sexual violence who are over 16 years of age. The satellite centres will extend the services and coverage of the SERI Support Centres. A total of EUR 0.3 million has been reserved for the purpose for 2020.
A sum of EUR 2 million will be earmarked for the preparation of the National Strategy for Children.
Improvement in health and social services
An appropriation of EUR 301 million will be allocated for healthcare and social welfare services organised by municipalities. This is EUR 99 million more than in 2019. The increase is due to an appropriation of EUR 97 million intended for the development of health and social services. The objective of the development projects is to improve the availability, accessibility, effectiveness and quality of basic services.
Appropriations will be allocated to improve informal care, family services, pharmaceutical services and bilingual services and to test the personal budget for people with intellectual disabilities.
A sum of EUR 2 million will be earmarked for a project to develop home care. A binding minimum staffing level of 0.7 for care personnel in units providing 24-hour care for older people will be laid down legislation. A sum EUR 5.0 million will be reserved for the purpose. The full post-transition period resource impacts of the binding staffing level will be taken into account in the General Government Fiscal Plan and future budgets. EUR 10 million will be reserved for the preparation of a national mental health strategy and for improving access to mental health services in 2020. A sum of EUR 2 million will be earmarked for the development of terminal care.
The Government will shorten the maximum waiting times for access to care so that access to non-urgent care must be arranged within seven days of the assessment of need for care. EUR 60 million will be reserved for this purpose next year.
Central government funding for medical helicopter services will be the same as for 2019, i.e. approximately EUR 29 million. An appropriation of EUR 7.0 million is proposed for mediation in criminal cases.
Programme on ageing to promote the health and wellbeing of older people
The Government proposes EUR 5 million for the preparation of a programme on ageing to promote the health and wellbeing of older people in 2020.
An ombudsman for older people’s rights will be established.
Supporting Health Sector Growth Strategy
An appropriation of EUR 7.0 million will be reserved for supporting the growth strategy for the health and social services sector. The measures support the establishment of national centres of excellence and the development of their activities. 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 5.2 million to be allocated for the operating expenses of a data permit authority administering the use of health and social data. The data permit authority started its operations in 2019.
The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 204.0 million in total for the operating expenses of the agencies and public bodies within the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Extension of national vaccination programme
The national vaccination programme will be reformed: in future, the tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) vaccination will be available in a greater number of regions, and the vaccine against papillomavirus (HVP) will also be available for boys. An appropriation of EUR 2 million will be reserved for these measures. The Government will allocate an appropriation of EUR 2.26 million for the increasing costs of influenza vaccines.
For the promotion of health and functional ability, the Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 37.5 million. This is EUR 2.3 million more than in 2019.
Action Plan for Gender Equality and Equal Pay Programme
The Government will reserve EUR 0.5 million for the Action Plan for Gender Equality and the Equal Pay Programme. The appropriation will be used for various measures in order to increase gender equality in society.
Other research and education
The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 25 million for the funding of university-level medical research in healthcare units. In addition, the Government will reserve an appropriation of EUR 96 million for central government compensation to healthcare units to cover costs arising from medical and dental training.
Support for war veterans, conscripts and their families
The Government will reserve an appropriation of EUR 208 million for the support of veterans. This is EUR 11 million less than in 2019. The main reason for this is that the number of war veterans is diminishing year by year.
Of this sum, EUR 62 million will be allocated for military injuries indemnities, EUR 25 million for the operating costs of institutions for war invalids, EUR 7.3 million for front-line veterans’ supplements and EUR 107.6 million for the rehabilitation of front-line veterans and services provided in their homes.
An appropriation of EUR 5 million will be reserved 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 Government 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
Costs for relief services to farmers and fur producers will fall by EUR 11.9 million from the previous year and will total EUR 122.8 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.
Grants to associations and foundations
The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 380 million for grants to associations and foundations to help them promote health and social welfare. The appropriation is EUR 18 million more than in 2019, thanks to the unallocated gambling proceeds from previous years and the decreased appropriation requirements of the budgetary items to be financed by Veikkaus Oy’s proceeds.
Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 410 (general questions)
Timo Lehtinen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 387 (general questions)
Silja Borgarsdóttir Sandelin, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 150 116 (general questions)
Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 163 338 (health and social services reform and service system)
Tuija Kumpulainen, Director, tel. +358 295 163 280 (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 (health and social matters, central government transfers to local government, unemployment security)
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)
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)