The Ministry of Social Affairs plans to close the National Institute for Health Development | News
The institute’s press officer said that employees had received a letter last week from the general secretary of the social ministry, Maarjo Mändmaa, telling them that the tasks of the organization would be divided among other agencies.
Mändmaa told news portal Delfi that the plan is indeed to hand over TAI’s tasks and people to other parts of the ministry.
The closure of TAI is part of a wider reform of the social ministry which also aims to merge the National Medicines Agency and the Health Council.
Mändmaa, who is responsible for the proper execution of the reform, said the aim is to make state systems more efficient.
“For example, today we have the Board of Health, the TAI, the Health Insurance Fund and the Labor Inspectorate who are all in charge of prevention efforts. in one place,” he said.
Another problem is that the fragmented agencies currently don’t have enough money to carry out plans, Mändmaa suggested.
He said the ministry wanted to map all the work done at the institute by the end of April to understand where different tasks could be moved.
The proposal to reorganize TAI’s work and merge the Health Council with the National Medicines Agency is expected to land on the Riigikogu’s agenda before the summer recess.
The ministry hopes to complete the reform early next year.
Critical Director of Ministry Plan
The director of the National Institute for Health Development (TAI), Annika Veimer, criticized the decision to close the institute, saying that it is not based on any kind of analysis and that the work continued by TAI is required.
“The only content analysis that we know of is from 2016. Its conclusion was that it makes sense to keep TAI in its recent form and that the agency does its job.
“The director of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Rain Laane, has embarked on the ambitious plan to be responsible for health promotion in Estonia. This leaves the fund with the choice of whether or not to fulfill its main task of improving the availability of medical care and improving the efficiency of the health system, or organizing prevention with the help of health insurance funds,” said Veimer.
“We do not approve of the moving of coins [of the healthcare system] around based on trial and error in hopes it yields something good. If the desire is to improve and streamline things, the steps should be carefully considered and discussed with those involved,” she added.