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At the beginning of the sitting, the Riigikogu held a moment of silence in remembrance of Ülo Nugis, the Chairman of the VII Riigikogu and member of the Riigikogu for several terms of the parliament.
 
After that, the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek on his official visit to Estonia made a speech before the Riigikogu. Buzek gave an overview of the topical issues of the European Union and the need to quickly find solutions to them through coordinated cooperation and increasing the responsibility of the union. Buzek acknowledged Estonia’s action during the economic recession which had enabled the country to bounce back from economic collapse and to become now Europe’s poster child for responsible economic governance.
 
The Minister of Social Affairs Hanno Pevkur replied to the interpellation concerning sustainability of the family physicians system (No 50), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Yana Toom, Viktor Vassiljev, Aadu Must, Priit Toobal, Jüri Ratas, Rainer Vakra, Tarmo Tamm, Enn Eesmaa, Inara Luigas, Mailis Reps and Eldar Efendijev on 20 October.
 
Pevkur noted that all personnel resources of primary medical care and the measures targeted at ensuring its availability have been launched. Likewise, the role of family nurse has been strengthened, a regulation of independent midwifery care has been established and a quality system has entered into force. According to the Minister’s explanations, the length of the consultation hours of family physicians is at least 20 hours and the hours may extend depending on seasonal diseases. In addition to this consultation time, there is the time when the family physician can make home visits and preventive medical examinations of children of up to 18 years of age, fill in the documentation relating to provision of health care service, etc. When we look at the last year’s annual report of the health insurance fund, then, for example, consulting of patients by telephone has increased as much as 47%, as compared to 2009, the Minister said. In his words, people have turned to the family physician by phone in order to receive faster care. The role and responsibility of family nurses was increased as of January 2010. Family nurses can better monitor patients with chronic illnesses and patients with acute health disorders, and individual consultation hours of family nurses were extended by five hours per week in order to ensure better availability of general medical care. The annual report of 2010 of the health insurance fund shows that consultations by family nurses have increased by 15%. When speaking about improving supervision, Pevkur noted that draft legislation for increasing supervision by the Health Board has been prepared at the primary level and it will reach the parliament in the near future. Also, a proposal to improve supervision has been made to the health care quality expert committee, he added. As at 1 July 2011, 187 family physicians have a list with the number of patients exceeding 2001 persons, and 65 family physicians had an assistant physician. Pevkur explained that the Act had provided a transition period in order that family physicians could find assistant physicians. He believes that family physicians will be able to solve that problem.
 
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to the interpellation concerning the defining of winter ports (No 51), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kotkas, Neeme Suur, Marianne Mikko, Karel Rüütli and Jaan Õunapuu on 20 October.
 
The Minister of Justice Kristen Michal replied to the interpellation concerning the salary administration of court officials (No 61), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalle Laanet, Rainer Vakra, Jüri Ratas, Viktor Vassiljev, Mailis Reps, Aivar Riisalu, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Valeri Korb, Deniss Boroditš, Vladimir Velman and Tarmo Tamm on 7 November.
 
During the open microphone, Heimar Lenk and Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
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