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Prime Minister replied to the interpellation (No.122) concerning the spread of HIV/AIDS in Estonia, submitted on 15 December by Members of the Riigikogu Kadi Pärnits, Katrin Saks and Eiki Nestor.

The submitters of the interpellation brought out sad statistics about the spread of the disease. As of 8 December 2004, there were 4373 HIV positive people in Estonia and 66 people have been diagnosed as with AIDS. In the opinion of experts the actual number of infected people surpasses the number of registered cases approximately two times. International experts have foretold that a large-scale epidemic may break out in Estonia. The medical costs per one patient are EEK 100,000 a year, the costs of clinical investigations, medicinal products and other costs added. The problem is aggravated by the fact that roughly 2,500 HIV-positive persons have no health insurance. In the opinion of interpellators, despite the presented facts, this field in the state policy has not attracted necessary attention.

Prime Minister said in his reply that the drafting of the comparatively large-scale strategy to combat HIV/AIDS had been launched. The strategy must be completed by May this year. Mr. Parts stressed that the Government would certainly take the proposals of the Riigikogu Study Committee into account. The strategy to be worked out must be in compliance with the pan of action for the prevention of drug addiction. Also with the Global Fund Programme and other action plans of the ministries. The strategy includes the principles and measures of prevention activities as well as the principles of financing of medical treatment, also considering the fact that in 2007 when the financial aid of the international programme Global Fund will be completed, the need for budgetary funds will sharply increase. Mr. Parts stated that the present budgetary contribution as well as the financial aid of international projects was not sufficient. He stressed: ?State budget assignations for the prevention as well as for medical treatment need to be increased.? At the same time the Prime Minister stated that the measures for the prevention and medical treatment should not be allocated only from the state budget. The contribution of local governments, also the international cooperation projects, but also the contribution of private sectors should also be considered. Mr. Parts added that the Government was preparing some new international projects, stressing the bilateral cooperation with Norway.

Prime Minister also replied to the interpellation (No. 124) concerning the EU financial aid, not yet received, submitted on 11 January by four members of the Isamaaliit Faction. Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Andrus Ansip and Minister of Education and Research Toivo Maimets replied to the similar interpellations (No. 126 and 125).

Minister of Education and Research Toivo Maimets replied to the interpellation (No. 120) concerning the teachers? salaries, submitted on 8 December by three members of the Social Democratic Party Faction.

Minister of Agriculture Ester Tuiksoo replied to the interpellation (No. 123) concerning the cooperation between the Werol Tehaste AS, in which the state has a majority holding and the private investors, submitted on 16 December by four members of the Isamaaliit Faction.

The verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting (in Estonian) can be found at: http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/plsql/stenograms.form

The Riigikogu Press Service