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The Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas replied to the interpellation concerning the reform of emergency medical care and the future of the emergency medical care service (No 301), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Priit Toobal, Viktor Vassiljev, Peeter Võsa, Vladimir Velman, Valeri Korb, Ester Tuiksoo and Enn Eesmaa on 27 February. 

The interpellators referred to the fact that, in spite of the provisions of the agreement of goodwill concluded in connection with the reform of emergency medical care, the reform had been begun earlier and that had brought along a wide expression of dissatisfaction among county governors, local government leaders as well as the people living in the region where the reform was carried out. The Competition Authority had also begun to investigate the facts of the competition for emergency medical care. Little involvement on the part of the Health Board and insufficient forwarding of information both among the heads of agencies and local residents could be regarded as the main reason for dissatisfaction. The dissatisfaction had culminated with signatures of 3066 residents of Järvamaa who demanded the suspension of the reform of emergency medical care because in their opinion it destroyed the territorial and regional integrity of the county and the integrated provision of health care services, noted Priit Toobal who spoke on behalf of the interpellators. He wished to know how the problems that had emerged were going to be solved. 

According to Rõivas’s explanations, the reform of emergency medical care had begun already long before the need to conclude the agreement of goodwill had become apparent and the corresponding intention had emerged. Thus the reform of emergency medical care and the agreement of goodwill complemented each other and were not interdependent in terms of time, he added. The agreement of goodwill provides for the activities for the organisation of the emergency medical care network. By 1 May this year, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Health Board and the Union of Estonian Emergency Medical Services will agree upon and submit for approval to all parties the standards for the availability and quality of the emergency medical care service, the number and regional location of crews on the basis of the location of active treatment hospitals, and the requirements for the staff, qualification and equipment of a crew. 

Discussing the problems of Järvamaa, Rõivas noted that the availability of the emergency medical care in that region was going to improve as a result of the reform. Järvamaa is going to have three crews instead of the current two. The two crews that are in the centre of Paide today will remain there in the future. A crew will be added to Türi which has grown to be the largest local government of Järvamaa in terms of the number of population. 

According to Rõivas’s explanations, the emergency medical care service is seen as a service that has to be guaranteed all over the country with uniform quality and as equal availability as possible, and is managed and coordinated on uniform bases in the whole state so that the emergency medical care is a good cooperation partner for other services in the whole republic. He added that the availability has improved, and in certain aspects it should take place through better processing of emergency calls. 

Rõivas confirmed that no ambulance crew would be eliminated as a result of this reform. However, in some places crews will be added. In some places, e.g. Iisaku, which so far have had a temporary coverage by a crew in summer, a permanent crew is intended to be established. “We have not made a final decision as to in which regions it will be possible to bring an additional crew already starting from the next year and in which places it will be possible starting from the year after the next year. However it is clear that already next year there will be more ambulance crews in Estonia than this year which means that the quality and, certainly, availability of the service to people will improve already at the beginning of the coming year,” Rõivas said. 

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to the interpellation concerning the problems with ferry traffic (No 305), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kallo, Tarmo Tamm, Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa, Peeter Võsa, Lauri Laasi, Vladimir Velman, Valeri Korb, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Ester Tuiksoo, Yana Toom and Viktor Vassiljev on 11 March. 

The Riigikogu amended the agenda for the working week. The first reading of the draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Approval of the Draft of the Memorandum of Understanding to be Entered into between the European Commission and the Republic of Cyprus” (419 OE), submitted by the Government on 15 April, was added to the agenda for the sitting on Wednesday, 17 April, and the second reading of this draft Resolution was added to the agenda for the sitting on Thursday, 18 April. 

During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor. 

The Riigikogu Press Service