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2022 draft budget of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its administrative branch

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
13.8.2021 13.36
Press release 223/2021

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes appropriations of about EUR 16.5 billion for the Ministry and its administrative branch for 2022. This is about EUR 1.3 billion less than in the 2021 Budget. The decrease is mainly due to one-off payments to compensate for the costs caused by COVID-19 to the healthcare and welfare service system. The biggest increases arise from the dismantling of the backlog in treatment and services and the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Ministry’s draft budget will, among other things, reform the family leave system and the survivors’ pension, develop health and social services and dismantle the backlog in treatment and services. In addition, unemployment security will be reformed when the Nordic labour market service model is introduced.

Of the appropriations for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its administrative branch, 31 per cent will be allocated to pensions, 28 per cent to offsetting family and housing costs and to basic social assistance and 17 per cent to unemployment security. Health insurance will account for 13 per cent, healthcare and social welfare organised by municipalities for 5 per cent and grants for the promotion of health and social wellbeing for 2 per cent of the appropriations.

Nordic labour market service model to be introduced in 2022

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.7 billion for employment security. This is about EUR 0.1 billion less than in the 2021 Budget. The decrease is due to the estimated fall in the number of unemployed and laid off people.

With regard to employment security, account has been taken of the introduction of the Nordic labour market service model on 1 May 2022. In this model, jobseekers would apply for work on their own initiative and receive individual and intensive support for their job search at an earlier stage. At the same time, sanctions on unemployment security would be staggered and made more reasonable, which is estimated to increase employment security expenditure. Jobseekers would be required to apply for a certain number of jobs in order to continue their right to receive unemployment security. A jobseeker would receive a reminder in the first case of forgetfulness or neglect. If the jobseeker failed to fulfil the obligation to seek employment again after receiving the reminder, this would result in a five-day sanction period when they would not receive unemployment benefits. If this happened again, they would lose benefits for 10 days. The model is estimated to increase the central government's share of unemployment security expenditure by EUR 16.7 million in 2022 and by EUR 25.0 million from 2023 onwards.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 1.5 million to be allocated for labour market training leading to a higher education degree. 

Family leave reform improves equality between parents

The family leave reform is estimated to increase central government expenditure by EUR 1.0 million in 2022 and by approximately EUR 9.0 million from 2024 onwards.

The intention is that the reform will take effect on 1 August 2022. The aim of the reform is to improve equality between the parents and equality and non-discrimination between different forms of families and between children and parents living in different types of families. Allowances for parents during family leaves would be paid on the basis of the same child for a total of 360 working days, i.e. for approximately 14.5 months instead of the current period of nearly 13 months. Before becoming entitled to parental allowance, pregnant women would receive pregnancy allowance for 40 working days. Both parents would be entitled to the same number of parental allowance days, but if they so wished, they could transfer a maximum of 63 parental allowance days from their own quota to the other parent or spouse. Parental allowance could be used at any time until the child reaches the age of two.

Reform of survivors’ pension

The reform of survivors’ pension is estimated to increase central government expenditure by EUR 0.3 million in 2022 and by approximately EUR 1.0 million at the end of the budget planning period. The reform will enter into force at the beginning of 2022. The reform proposes that the child’s right to a survivors’ pension be extended by two years, in which case the right to a child's pension would end when the child reaches the age of 20. It is proposed that the right to a widow's pension be limited to 10 years or at least until the youngest of those entitled to a child's pension reaches the age of 18. In addition, it is proposed that the widow’s pension be also paid to a cohabiting partner who has a child with the deceased.

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 5.1 billion in total for funding pensions. This is EUR 8.0 million more than in 2021.

More funding for basic social assistance and health insurance

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes a sum of EUR 4.5 billion for offsetting family and housing costs and for basic social assistance and certain other services. This is EUR 45.0 million more than in 2021. The increase is mainly due to needs assessment changes and the rise in the operating expenses of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).

For the operating expenses of the Social Insurance Institution, the Ministry proposes a total of EUR 494.8 million. This is EUR 13.5 million more than in 2021. In addition to the increase in pension costs and changes in the earnings level, the operating expenses take into account the development of benefit and other services for clients and the maintenance of the security of supply infrastructure. 

The proposal of the Ministry of Education and Culture to increase the number of student places in higher education and practical nurse training will increase general housing allowance expenditure by EUR 24.2 million.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 2.1 billion for funding health insurance. This is EUR 51.0 million less than in 2021.

The assessment of work ability during the sickness allowance period will be developed based on the proposals of the rehabilitation committee. One of these proposals would increase the number of checkpoints to assess the need for rehabilitation, the remaining work ability and the possibilities for continuing working. The proposal is estimated to increase central government expenditure by EUR 0.25 million in the year of its entry into force and by EUR 0.5 million annually.

Improvement in health and social services

It is proposed that EUR 873.0 million be allocated for healthcare and social welfare services organised by municipalities under the main title of expenditure of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. This is approximately EUR 1.14 billion less than in 2021. The reduction is due to EUR 1.6 billion allocated to the healthcare and social welfare system in the 2021 Budget as one-off payments to compensate for the costs caused by COVID-19.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 25.6 million for shelter activities. A total of 1.5 million has been reserved for urgent social services for persons who are not covered by reception services under the Aliens Act.

The Government will award a government grant of EUR 36.6 million to FinnHEMS Oy for helicopter emergency medical services. The sum is EUR 8.8 million more than in 2021. This is due to increasing the number of helicopter stations from six to eight.

The Government will allocate EUR 65.8 million in funding to student healthcare provided by the Finnish Student Health Service.

Development of health and social services

For the development of health and social services, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes EUR 455.0 million more than in 2021. Of this increase, EUR 450.0 million would go to the dismantling of the backlog in treatment and services and EUR 3.0 million to the project on well-functioning rehabilitation in healthcare and social welfare. Of the appropriation, EUR 20 million would be allocated for the development of child and family services. An appropriation of EUR 3 million has been reserved for services for mothers suffering from substance abuse. 

The projects to develop social and health services will focus on: 1) safeguarding access to basic public services, for example by dismantling the backlog in treatment and services and coordinating clients’ paths between social and health services, 2) improving the care and treatment of older people by developing informal care and home care and drawing up a cross-administrative programme on ageing, and 3) preparing a national cross-administrative mental health strategy. 

Health sector growth strategy

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 7.5 million for the implementation of the growth strategy for the health and social services sector. This sum also includes the establishment of a centre of excellence for digital health and wellbeing technology, to which EUR 1.7 million will be allocated.

In general, the sum will 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.

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 91.2 million. This is EUR 53.4 million more than in 2021. The increase is mainly due to the appropriation of EUR 50 million proposed for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, EUR 1.4 million is proposed for the extension of influenza vaccinations and EUR 2.0 million for the further extension of pneumococcal vaccinations to the risk groups of older people.

Development of information management and Kanta services in healthcare and social welfare

It is proposed that a total of EUR 46.9 million be allocated to the development of national information management in healthcare and social welfare. This is EUR 16.5 million more than in 2021. The sum will be used, for example, to continue the development of Kanta services and the reform of information production.

An appropriation of EUR 4.0 million is proposed for the preparation of the roadmap for pharmaceutical matters.

Other research and education

A general increase of EUR 5.0 million is proposed both for the funding of university-level research in healthcare and social work and for central government compensation to health and social services units for specialised training of healthcare and social welfare personnel. An appropriation of EUR 30.0 million is proposed for research and EUR 101.0 million for specialised training. 

Support for war veterans, conscripts and their families

The Ministry proposes an appropriation of EUR 192.7 million for the support of veterans. This is EUR 48.6 million less than in 2021. The main reason for the decrease is that there are fewer veterans every year. 

Of this sum, EUR 43.6 million will be allocated for military injuries indemnities, EUR 20.0 million for the operating costs of institutions for war invalids, EUR 7.7 million for front-line veterans’ supplements and EUR 118.2 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 2.1 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 central government compensation for the care of those who suffered in the wars.

Consideration for farmers project to be continued

In accordance with the Government Programme, the Välitä viljelijästä (Consideration for farmers) project, which supports farmers to cope, will be continued until the end of the government term. In addition, the continuity of this model will be assessed.

Grants to associations and foundations

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 332.7 million for grants to associations and foundations to help them promote health and social wellbeing. The sum is EUR 29.7 million less than in 2021. This is due to the drop in Veikkaus Oy’s estimated proceeds. The appropriation takes into account EUR 34.4 million resulting from a lower lottery tax, EUR 50.0 million from the dissolution of non-distributed proceeds in the balance sheet and EUR 58.5 million as on-budget compensation.  

Agencies, institutions and organisations

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health proposes an appropriation of EUR 244.6 million for the operation of the government agencies and public bodies within its administrative branch. Additional appropriations include EUR 1.5 million for safeguarding the research operation of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, EUR 7.6 million for strengthening the national health security capabilities of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, EUR 3.4 million for national quality and effectiveness information activities, EUR 1.2 million for the additional tasks related to the health and social services reform, EUR 0.5 million for developing the information management and information services of the Finnish Medicines Agency and EUR 1.9 million for implementing the second phase of the Soteri register of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.

It is proposed that the voluntary funding for the World Health Organization be continued with EUR 5.5 million.

An appropriation increase of EUR 0.3 million is proposed for the Finnish Medicines Agency, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare to improve information security and data protection in the critical sectors of society. An appropriation of EUR 2.6 million is proposed for the data permit authority for healthcare and social welfare.

Inquiries:  

Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 410 (general questions)
Matti Hirvola, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 603 (general questions)
Jenny Suominen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 109 (general questions)
Anna Abrahamsson, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 150 029 (general questions, equality)
Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 163 338 (health and social services reform and service system)   
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)
Kari Hakari, 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 matters, benefits)
Riitta Kokko-Herrala, 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, Director of Finance, tel. +358 295 163 214 (budget) 
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)