Private doctor visits reimbursed through Kela decreased significantly in April 2023

Private doctor visits reimbursed through Kela decreased significantly in April 2023

The number of people who received Kela’s private doctor visit allowance increased significantly towards the end of 2022. When compensations decreased in December 2022, the amounts increased in January-March 2023. In March, around 260,000 people received compensations. private doctor visits. In April 2023, however, the number of beneficiaries decreased considerably, to around 80,000.

The decrease in the number of visits in April is at least partially due to the reduction of weekdays compared to the previous year. It remains to be seen whether this drop is temporary or whether usage will level off again in May. By Timo HujanenKela’s specialist researcher, the decrease in April’s visit volume may also be affected by the recent cuts in private physician fees in 2023, the elimination of research and treatment reimbursements, and the current queue situation in the public sector.

The use of private healthcare services was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. In the spring of 2020, the pandemic led to a decrease in the use of private services. Several factors, including fear of exposure and restrictions on non-essential services, contributed to this decline.

In 2019, Kela reimbursed private medical services for 1.48 million individuals. However, at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the number of beneficiaries decreased significantly, by 106,000, and then in 2021, the number of beneficiaries decreased further by 23,000 people. In 2022, the number of beneficiaries started to recover and was 1.45 million people and returned to the previous level. – pandemic levels.

Although the impact of the fee reduction and the removal of research and treatment reimbursements on the use of services is not yet clear, it is important to take into account the wider Finnish healthcare landscape. Queuing situations in the public sector and other factors can influence individuals’ decisions to apply for private healthcare.

If you want to follow the development of Kela’s private healthcare reimbursements, the Monthly Statistics are available through Kelasto, Kela’s statistics service.

The significant decrease in Kela’s private doctor visit reimbursements in April 2023 raises questions about the possible effects of fee reductions and the removal of examination and treatment reimbursements. Although the use of private healthcare services was initially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers have gradually recovered. Continuous monitoring of these trends provides valuable insights into the developing landscape of private healthcare in Finland.


Source: The Nordic Page




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