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The Riigikogu passed four Acts and one Resolution:
The Bill on Amendments to the Foundations Act and the Authorised Public Accountants Act (839 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee, was adopted with 83 votes in favour. The Act provides similar regulations to foundations and non-profit organisations in the field of audit requirements. From now on, small income foundations can use these assets to achieve the objectives specified in their acts of association. Previously they had to spend these on compulsory auditing.
The Act on Amendments to the Financial Supervision Authority Act, Investment Funds Act, Credit Institutions Act and Securities Market Act (834 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was adopted with 87 votes in favour. The Act harmonises the Estonian law with the European Parliament and Council directive on enhancing financial supervision cooperation. Its aim is to increase financial stability in the European union as a whole. Management of positions of large exposures (e.g. sizable loans granted by credit institutions) is improved. In addition, capital requirements to the equity capital of credit institutions are changed, and defined requirements are set to securities which bear the traits of debt instruments. The requirements for liquidity risk management are also improved.
The Act on Amendments to the Waste Act and the Local Government Organisation Act (866 SE), initiated by the Environmental Committee, was passed with 88 votes in favour. The Act prohibits the use of equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated terphenyls from 1 January 2011. Holders of any equipment containing PCBs have to eliminate the equipment from use by 31 December 2010 at the latest. The amendments arise from a directive of the Council of the European Union.
The Act on Amendments to § 111 of the Gambling Act (857 SE), initiated by the Economic Affairs Committee, was adopted with 65 votes in favour. The Act postpones by one year the implementation of the electronic recording and control system which was due to enter into force on 1 January 2011. Organisers of gambling claim themselves unprepared for it, as they are occupied with the reorganisations related to the adoption of Euro.
The Riigikogu passed the Resolution “Appointment of an Auditor for Supervising the Activities of the State Audit Office in 2010” (869 OE), initiated by the Finance Committee, with 82 votes in favour. The Resolution appoints Indrek Alliksaar, Auditor of KPMG Baltics AS, to supervise the activities of the State Audit Office in 2010.
The Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Social Affairs Hanno Pevkur and the Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Estonia Jarno Habicht made their presentations at the deliberation of the matter of significant national importance “Health of the Estonian population”.
Reinsalu remarked that the health of the Estonian population has been discussed at public sittings of the Social Affairs Committee throughout the year. The Committee saw it necessary to bring the issue into the Plenary Hall, because the problems of accessibility of the health care system and health care in general need to be discussed separately as issues of national importance.
Reinsalu recounted the proposals made by experts during these discussions. A new act on population health was thought appropriate. The act on population health should set out specific responsibilities to public authorities, including to local governments, in the field of population health and health promotion. It is important to promote prevention in health care, with specific emphasis on children’s health programmes. Reinsalu sees a need for a concrete government-adopted alcohol policy which moves in the direction of clear restrictions. It is important to support and value a health care network and ensure the sustainability of the existing structures. Reinsalu mentioned a concrete proposal to create an advisory assembly on the basis of involvement democracy. This would unite representatives of various groups that need representation in the society, in order to ensure that the objectives set out in the development plan for population health are carried out.
Minister Pevkur listed the priorities in national health policy: avoiding premature mortality; alleviate the risks to health caused by health behaviour and the surrounding environment; ensure sustainable, high-quality and accessible health care services for the treatment of already manifest health problems. Pevkur stressed that the healthier the people are, the better the economy functions.
Habicht presented his vision of the means to improve population health. He supports the shaping of a supportive environment, which would promote healthy choices for all of us. We also need to address inequality in health care. Problems would certainly be solved through a fruitful cooperation of state and private sectors. This should be built on a coordinated human-centred approach by way of cooperation that aims to ensure entry-level medical care, special medical care and population health. In order to guarantee all this, we need to ensure the sustainability of health care system financing.
Liisa-Ly Pakosta, Maret Merisaar, Maret Maripuu, Jaak Aab, Heljo Pikhof, Mai Treial, Nikolai Põdramägi and Toomas Trapido took the floor during debate.
The sitting ended at 1.03. p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service