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The Riigikogu passed with 80 votes in favour the Resolution “Use of the Defence Forces in the Performance of the International Duties of the Estonian State in the UN Supervision Mission in Syria” (225 OE), submitted by the National Defence Committee. The Resolution allows to use up to two members of the Estonian Defence Forces in the UN-led supervision mission in Syria (UNSMIS – United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria) until the end of the mandate given to the mission by the UN Security Council but not for longer than until 31 December 2012. The Resolution approved by the UN Security Council in April this year provides for the deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component as required by the Mission to fulfil its mandate to monitor the observing and upholding the commitment of government forces and armed opposition groups to a cessation of armed violence and the implementation of Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Mental Health Act, the Punishment Register Act, the Probation Supervision Act and the Health Care Services Organisation Act (176 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to allow the imprisonment of a convicted offender to be partially replaced by treatment, as an alternative, in the case when a person has committed an offence due to a curable or controllable mental disorder and there is a risk that he or she may commit a new similar offence in the future. The target group of the treatment are sexual offenders who at the same time have a diagnosis of paedophilia or any other sexual orientation disorder (paraphilia) and who agree to receive treatment. Within the meaning of the Bill, complex treatment of sexual offenders is a combination of medicamental treatment and psychotherapeutic treatment (therapy/counselling), the aim of which is to cure the sexual orientation disorders of a person or to keep them under control. As one possibility, treatment is planned to be applied as a prerequisite for releasing a prisoner before the prescribed time. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Health Care Services Organisation Act and the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act (188 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to ensure better availability of primary health care services and better service quality. The Bill amends the provisions concerning general medical care in the Health Care Services Organisation Act which will centralise the function of organising primary health care to the area of government of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Thereby, the current duties of a county governor such as the competition for the compilation of the practice list of a family physician, the approving of the practice lists of family physicians, the temporary substitution of family physicians, and supervision upon the organisation of general medical care are transferred to the Health Board. The maximum numbers of persons on the practice lists of family physicians which at present are regulated by a Regulation of the Minister are brought to the level of law. The Bill provides that, as a general rule, the maximum number of persons on the practice list of a family physician is 1200‒2000 persons or up to 2400 persons if, together with the family physician, at least one health care professional qualified as a doctor provides general medical care to persons entered on the list. The third important amendment concerns the functions related to the collection of health statistics which are transferred to the competence of the National Institute for Health Development. The health statistics is transferred with the aim of increasing the efficiency and speed of the submission of reports and correction of data by elimination of an intermediate link of data transfer. The information will be submitted directly to the National Institute for Health Development who will give feedback directly to the service provider, that is, to the entity which submits the data. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Cultural Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Administrative Cooperation Act and the Sports Act (200 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the amendments is to ensure the processing of the data of the sports database and the hosting of the database with the highest possible quality and efficiency by allowing the functions of the authorised processor to be transferred to a legal person in private law established with the participation of the state who has a long experience of collecting, processing and administrating sports data. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Medicinal Products Act (224 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the amendments is to strengthen pharmacovigilance and to rationalise the system of the supervision of the safety of medicinal products for human use, to better protect public health, to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market and to simplify the current rules and procedures. The roles and obligations of holders of marketing authorisations for medicinal products, member states and their competent authorities and the European Medicines Agency in the fulfilment of these aims are also specified. The initiator stated that an estimated 5% of all cases of hospitalisation are caused by adverse reactions of medicinal products, and adverse reactions of medicinal products take the fifth place among the most widespread causes of death of hospital patients. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Cultural Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Republic of Estonia Education Act and Other Associated Acts (223 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to transfer the functions of the National Examinations and Qualifications Centre to the foundation Innove administrated by the Ministry and, respectively, termination of the activities of the National Examinations and Qualifications Centre. According to the Bill, after the conclusion of the contract under public law, the Foundation Innove will become a central authority coordinating the general and vocational education programmes and developments. The renewed Foundation Innove will be divided into three structural units: the general education and monitoring agency, the vocational education agency and the structural assistance agency. The aim of the reorganisations is to centralise under these agencies all implementation in the relevant fields, including programmes and projects, of the area of government of the Ministry of Education and Research. This gives the Ministry an opportunity to reduce fragmentation in management and to change today’s situation where several subunits of the Ministry of Education and Research operate in one field. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

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