Healthcare in Estonia
Upon giving birth, the Estonian government grants one of the parents 100% of their former salary for 18 months, plus 320 Euros of one-time support per child. After 18 months, the parent has the right to resume her/his former position. In addition, the parent and child receive free healthcare. Parents who did not work before giving birth (unemployed, students, etc.) receive 278 Euros a month; the top salary is capped at 2,157 Euros a month.1 These measures, which have been in force from 2005, have not been proven to have had a major positive effect on the birth rate in Estonia, which has increased already since 2001.2
Those policy measures concentrate on the first 18 months of the child's life. After 18 months, the monthly state support to a child goes down to 19 Euros a month (for the first two children) and 58 euros (for three or more children), plus free healthcare. There are many exceptions and added bonuses to the rule. For example, the child of a single parent receives twice the sum of child support. The child of an army member receives five times the sum of the child support, and children in foster families receive 20 times the sum of the child support. Despite considerable variation and fluctuations in the support to the family with children, the majority of Estonian families do not face great hardships and the State of The World's Mothers 2011 report ranked Estonia as the 18th best country in the world to be a mother, ahead of countries like Canada and the United States.3 According to the CIA World Factbook, Estonia has the lowest maternal death rate in the world.
- Ministry of Social Affairs webpage on Parental Compensation. (in Estonian). Retrieved 8 November 2011
- Andres Võrk and Marre Karu (2006) EESTI VANEMAHÜVITISE MÕJU SÜNDIMUS- JA TÖÖTURUKÄITUMISELE: HINDAMISE VÕIMALUSED JA ESIMESTE KOGEMUSTE ANALÜÜS. PRAXIS analysis on the measure of Parental Compensation
- The 2011 Mothers' Index. Savethechildren.org. 2011. (PDF). Retrieved 23 December 2011.