New measures to strengthen care of the elderly and health care during the COVID-19 crisis
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party are today presenting new measures. A boost for care of the elderly is being implemented that means that employees in care of the elderly will be offered paid education and training during working hours. This will lead to more permanent positions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected an already strained staffing situation for health and social care, not least in care of the elderly. At the same time, employment has declined in many other sectors as a result of redundancy notices and job cuts. To improve the supply of staff and make it more attractive to seek jobs in care of the elderly, a boost for care of the elderly is being implemented that means that employees in care of the elderly will be offered paid education and training during working hours.
For those who require it, it will be possible to combine employment with training to become nursing assistants or auxiliary nurses during paid working hours. Central government will finance the costs for the time the employee is absent due to studies. The initiative comprises SEK 2.2 billion in 2020 and 2021. It is in line with the proposal presented by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and the Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union, which made the assessment that 10 000 people could be included.
To ensure that there are sufficient education and training places, the Government is also injecting funds so that 10 000 people can attend education and training focused on health and social care at regional vocational adult education institutions during the fourth quarter of 2020 if they study part-time. These places will be wholly funded by central government in 2020. Municipalities will fund 30 per cent of the education and training places that are sought for 2021.
In addition to this, it is proposed that folk high school vocational education and training be expanded with approximately 1 000 new half-year places in 2020, also with a focus on health and social care. It is proposed that central government wholly funds this expansion and no regional co-financing will be needed.
Further funds to compensate municipalities and regions for extraordinary costs
The Riksdag has previously adopted a Government proposal under which municipalities and regions will be compensated for additional costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that the funds are sufficient, it is now proposed that a further SEK 2 billion be provided. The investment thus amounts to a total of SEK 5 billion. The Government is following developments closely and stands ready to inject further funds to the appropriation if necessary.
Additional funds to the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Public Health Agency of Sweden
It is proposed that the National Board of Health and Welfare receives an additional SEK 97 million in 2020, primarily to cover the costs of its own staff and hired staff, as well as stockpiling of material.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden will also receive more funds this year to strengthen and develop its work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional SEK 28 million will fund increased staffing and more in-depth analytical work.
Press Secretary to the Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 73 074 05 57
email to Mirjam Kontio
Press Secretary, Centre Party
Mobile +46 73 065 94 25
Head of Press Service, Liberal Party
Mobile +46 70 298 67 90