The following case study and set of interviews stems from research by Sofia Widén, the program manager for ACCESS Health Sweden, who spent three days in Estonia to learn more about the Estonian digital government services system. Citizens of Estonia use these services to apply for child allowances and driver’s licenses, and to vote in elections, among other things.
Widén visited the Estonian eHealth Foundation, the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. She studied eHealth services in depth and the eGovernance structure in general. eHealth refers to digital services used in healthcare. eGovernance refers to the digital services used to govern a country. Estonian digital services have enabled citizens to access public services across governmental departments. The system has streamlined permit applications and medical examinations, and it has reduced the administrative burden for companies and individuals across the country. The Estonian eGovernance system increases the tax revenue base for the country, improves the business climate, and enhances the quality of healthcare services.
The effort to provide integrated digital services is part of a greater effort to streamline public administration and to attract companies and people to settle in Estonia and provides a useful model for other countries interested in doing the same.