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TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Health and Labor Riina Sikkut on Friday will be on a visit to Finland where she is to meet with ministers of the Finnish government and inspect Finland's patient and occupational accident insurance systems.
During the visit, Sikkut is scheduled to have meetings with Minister of Social Affairs and Health Pirkko Mattila, Minister of Labor Jari Lindstrom and Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Annika Saarikko, spokespeople for the Ministry of Social Affairs told BNS.
"Estonia and Finland have a lot of common topics in the field of health and labor. When it comes to e-health, we are the first two countries in Europe to start exchanging digital prescriptions already at the end of this year," Sikkut said. "But there is cooperation interest also with regard to deliberating occupational accident insurance solutions."
Topics to be discussed at the meeting with Minister of Labor Jari Lindstrom include future work, labor market services and the movement of workforce between Estonia and Finland, while Sikkut will discuss cooperation possibilities in the fields of e-health, alcohol policy, mental health and patient safety with Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Annika Saarikko. Minister of Social Affairs and Health Pirkko Mattila will share Finland's experience regarding the functioning of patient insurance and occupational accident insurance systems.
A no-fault patient insurance system has been in effect in Finland since 1987. "A patient insurance system has been operating in Finland for decades already and this is why we have followed Finland's suit when developing the fundamental principles of the system to be created in Estonia. The most important of these is the no-fault principle, which enables to compensate for the damages unintentionally caused to a person without blaming the doctor," Sikkut said. "During the visit, I wish to receive more information regarding the functioning of the Finnish system and its possible bottlenecks so that we could learn from these experiences when building up the system to be created in Estonia."
The minister will be accompanied by deputy secretary general on labor and employment policy Sten Andreas Erlich, deputy secretary general for health Maris Jesse and head of the ministry's healthcare department Heli Paluste.