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Supplementary budget enhances support for disabled residents and health services

Supplementary budget enhances support for disabled residents and health services

The Tallinn City Government has submitted a supplementary budget to the City Council, which increases the funding for social welfare and health services by 2.34 million euros. These additional funds are primarily aimed at improving the accessibility of services for children and adults with special needs and disabilities.

According to Deputy Mayor Karl Sander Kase, the volume and number of users of services for children and adults with disabilities have increased in recent years, which was taken into account in the supplementary budget. “With the supplementary budget, we are increasing the allocation for personal social transport, assistant services, and respite care for family caregivers by a total of 0.9 million euros. Improving the availability of social transport supports people's independence and ability to manage daily life,” explained Kase.

An additional 136,000 euros are allocated for adapting the homes of people with disabilities. “We want people with disabilities to feel safe and comfortable at home and be able to live independently,” noted the Deputy Mayor. This includes modifications such as replacing a bathtub with a shower, removing door thresholds, or installing ramps at building entrances. The city will reimburse up to 3,200 euros for these home adaptation works.

To support family caregivers of adults with high care needs by providing them with short-term respite and leisure opportunities, the city will increase the budget for respite care services by 19,000 euros.

In 2020, the need for support person services was assessed for 426 children, while last year it was already 587 children. “As there is an average of 50-55 children waiting for this service, and the city aims to provide the service without a waiting list, an additional 794,000 euros have been allocated in the supplementary budget,” said Kase. Support person services assist children who require more personal support due to social-emotional or health issues with daily activities, providing guidance, direction, encouragement, motivation, and supervision. Families typically need about 80 hours of support person services per month.

Additionally, the budget for support person services for adults with disabilities will be increased by 213,000 euros, and the budget for personal assistant services by approximately 149,000 euros. This increase is due to both the higher costs of services provided by partners found through procurement processes and the continuously growing number of service users and required service volume.

The project “Kodus tuleohutuks (Fire Safe Homes),” in collaboration with the Rescue Board, will continue this year, making 24 homes safer. The supplementary budget includes nearly 63,000 euros to cover the city's contribution.

In the healthcare sector, the operating costs of Tallinn Ambulance will increase due to changes in the prices of ambulance services starting in January and agreed-upon wage increases for healthcare workers from April, based on the collective agreement. Additional funds are also allocated for managing the sobering-up station due to the rising costs of medicines and medical supplies. Moreover, the share of uninsured residents has increased compared to last year, leading to a 200,000 euro increase in the budget for providing medical services to these residents.