TALLINN - The Estonian Health Insurance Fund is to start paying out bonuses for vaccination to family doctors and providers of nursing and specialized medical care for shots administered in the next three months.
In order to boost the vaccination drive and ensure 70-percent coverage against COVID-19 by the fall, the Health Insurance Fund will pay out bonuses to service providers from July 1 until Sept. 30 in addition to covering their ordinary fees, the fund said.
The fund will pay 50-euro bonuses to family doctors, nursing and specialized care providers for each 20 vaccines conducted with all first and second injections counted during the aforementioned three-month period.
COVID-19 vaccination project leader Marek Seer said that with the vaccination of each person needing more effort going forward, the bonuses are a necessary and appropriate approach.
"We need to increase the pace of vaccination ahead of the third wave of the coronavirus and we cannot achieve that without the effort of health care establishments and family doctors," he said.
Member of the management board of the Health Insurance Fund Maivi Parv said that at least 185,000 more people need to be immunized in order to reach 70-percent vaccination coverage, which will bring the Health Insurance Fund's additional costs to 925,000 euros.
Family doctors will also be paid an additional 500 euros once 70-percent vaccination coverage is achieved in their register of patients aged 18 and older, and 1,000 euros for 80-percent coverage. The bonus for family doctors in East-Viru County is 500 euros for reaching 60-percent coverage among adults and 1,000 euros for 70-percent coverage. All first doses or one-dose vaccinations until Sept. 30 are counted.
Providers of specialized medical care will be paid out bonuses if 70-percent coverage is achieved among their county's adult population; the threshold for East-Viru county is 60 percent. An additional 2.20 euros is paid for every first dose injected. The bonus is paid if the service provider has conducted at least 500 first doses during the period.
Some specialized care providers have begun inoculating people in buses or other mobile vaccination cabinets. Such providers will additionally be paid up to 50 euros per each night for staff member to cover accommodation costs and 0.03 euros per each kilometer driven to the vaccination location.
The bonuses will be paid out to all service providers by the Health Insurance Fund in October. The fund will also decide in October at the latest whether or not to continue the bonus system.