Estonian Health Care System

The opinion of Estonians about their health care system was five percentage points higher in 2012 than in 2011, with 67% of the population declaring themselves satisfied or mostly satisfied.

A survey for the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Social Affairs shows that in 2012 the quality of Estonian medical care was rated as good or mostly good by 80% of Estonian residents in 2012, the highest level ever.

In 2011 the European Surgical Outcomes Study (EuSOS) survey carried out for the OECD and the European Commission showed that post-operative mortality in Estonia is 1.5%. The European Union average is 4%. This figure puts Estonia in the top five in Europe, alongside Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The study project report “Benchmarking ICTs in health systems” published by the OECD and the European Commission on a comparative analysis of ICT implementation and adoption in healthcare systems put Estonia in first place in Europe ahead of Denmark, Sweden and Finland for the availability and use of e-health services. The study covered 1753 hospitals in 27 European Union member states, and Croatia, Norway and Iceland.

Estonia scored highly in the Mothers Index put together in 2012 by the children’s charity Save the Children, coming tenth out of 165 countries in the Children’s Index. Estonia’s result was better than those of countries like Finland, which was in 19th place, and the UK, which was in 16th place. Norway also ranked below Estonia on the Children’s Index, although it was only one place behind in 11th.

The European Perinatal Health Report (EUROPERISTAT) published in May 2013 showed that in 2010 the neonatal mortality rate in Estonia was 1.9 per thousand births. This figure puts Estonia among the ten best in Europe alongside Iceland, Sweden and Finland. The Europeristat report put the average rate for neonatal mortality in Europe at 2.4 per thousand births.

Estonian health insurance is a social insurance operating on the principle of solidarity, so that the Health Insurance Fund covers the cost of health services for someone who is ill regardless of the amount of social tax they have paid. The Fund also uses the social tax paid for the working population to cover the cost of health services for people who have no income from work.