The parliament of Estonia made a decision in December to donate 90,000 euros to the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation from the state budget as an operating grant, or so-called political protection money. This is the first time in its four years of operation the foundation has had an opportunity to use public funds.
The foundation's operating grant consists of two parts. 5000 euros is donated on behalf of the Estonian Conservative People's Party. The remaining 85,000 euros comes from funds the Estonian Reform Party decided not to allocate that were thus left over, so to speak. The parliament's finance committee supported the idea of giving 85,000 euros to the cancer treatment foundation. The support is paid for by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
"We would like to thank the politicians for their wise decision to allocate the protection money for the first time, and also to investing in people's health and prolonging their lives instead of fixing roofs, revamping rooms, buying equipment and other such things. We will use the operating grant to grant people longer lives," said Toivo Tänavsuu, the head of the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation. "The so-called protection money serves as a means for politicians to allocate the otherwise rigidly fixed state budget's funds to projects they feel empathy for. The majority of the funds given to the cancer treatment foundation come without a political party’s label on it. I gladly take it that it means that the lives of Estonian people are the favourite common project of all parties."
The state budget allocation makes up about 5% of the cancer treatment foundation's 2018 budget and will be used for the treatment of cancer patients the Health Insurance Fund has deemed not 'cost-effective'. This support gives several people a chance to try out the best cancer treatment and a chance to live longer, or even recover.
The Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation funded the treatment of more than 100 people in Estonia in 2017 and allocated nearly 1.6 million euros to improve people’s health.