Wednesday 10/28/20
PANDEMIC

Finland 2021 budget proposal: 2 billion to manage Covid-19 crisis

The government will reserve 30 million euros for supporting investment connected with testing technology.

16 September 2020, Finland, Helsinki: (L-R) Finnish Minister of Education Li Andersson, Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo, Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko and Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson, speak at a press conference on the government's budget negotiations. Photo: Markku Ulander/dpa.
(L-R) Minister of Education Li Andersson, Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo, Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko and Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson, speak at a press conference on the government's budget negotiations. Photo: Markku Ulander/dpa.

The Finnish government will allocate a total of about 2 billion euros to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and its branch of government for managing the Covid-19 crisis.

According to the government's decisions of 16 September in the budget session, most of this amount will be allocated to municipalities and hospital districts.

The government also undertakes to dismantle the backlog in treatment and services caused by the epidemic through a 450 million euros package of measures in 2021–2023.

Testing to become faster 

The budget proposal for 2021 reserves a total of 1.4 billion euros for coronavirus testing; 355 million euros will be reserved for this in the autumn 2020 supplementary budget proposal.

With this funding, it will be possible to make testing faster and more comprehensive than before, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said in a press release.

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 so-called 'hybrid strategy' so require. Appropriations will be reviewed, as necessary, in supplementary budgets when more detailed cost estimates for 2021 become available.

The government will reserve 30 million euros for supporting investment connected with testing technology. The government also proposes an additional 30 million euros for 2021 to reimburse municipalities and hospital districts for additional costs related to the strengthening of health security at border crossing points.

Financial support to municipalities

The government proposes that 200 million euros be allocated for supporting municipalities and hospital districts. Municipalities and hospital district can use these funds to cover any direct costs arising from the coronavirus epidemic, excluding costs related to testing.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Finance will prepare a package of financial aid schemes for municipalities and hospital districts in a way that the incentives for cost-effective activities are kept unchanged.

Due to the epidemic, healthcare is facing a backlog in treatment and social welfare a backlog in services. The government undertakes to dismantle the backlog in treatment and services by introducing a financing package of 450 million euros between 2021 and 2023.

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