2019.11.11 15:00

Growing social care spending still too small, Lithuania's labour minister says

A sum of 34.2 million euros will be allocated for social care of heavily disabled people in Lithuania next year, about 10 million more than last year and the year before. Still, the funding is less than what is needed, according to Social Security and Labour Minister Linas Kukuraitis.

“It will not solve the problem completely, but will ease the strain. […] The need for care is growing drastically. [It] has risen almost ten times over the past decade. It reflects the aging of the population,” Kukuraitis said during a sitting of the parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs and Labour for the 2020 government budget bill.

The Social Security and Labour Ministry and the Health Ministry plan to draft a long-term plan for care services and envisage sustainable funding sources. One of the ideas is to set up a Long-Term Care Fund financed from the state budget, municipal budgets, the mandatory health insurance fund and EU structural funds, as well as the income tax.

Such a fund could be set up in 2022, the Social Security and Labour Ministry says.

Social care funding is estimated to grow 13.6 percent next year and account for 1.2 percent of the GDP.