The Minister of Social Affairs Maret Maripuu replied to the interpellation concerning renaming of Põlva Hospital Ltd a local hospital (No 53), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Heimar Lenk, Rein Ratas, Arvo Sarapuu, Toivo Tootsen, Enn Eesmaa, Jaan Kundla, Inara Luigas and Valeri Korb on 24 March.
Maripuu explained that there were 32 000 residents in Põlva County and it was one of the counties with the smallest population. Läänemaa and Hiiu County have smaller population than Põlva County. Out-patient and in-patient health services are provided to residents of the county by Põlva Hospital Ltd which is included in the list of general hospitals pursuant to the Regulation of 2 April 2003 “Hospital Network Development Plan”. Põlva Hospital will have to be classified as a local hospital as of 1 January 2010. The Health Care Board has issued the activity licence of general hospital to Põlva Hospital which is valid until 18 September 2012. Pursuant to the activity licence issued by the Health Care Board, Põlva Hospital has to provide the following out-patient and in-patient health services: emergency medicine, internal diseases, general surgery, anaesthesiology, laboratory medicine, radiology, and it may provide out-patient and in-patient paediatric, obstetric and gynaecologic health services. “If we were to observe the Regulation approved in 2003, then Põlva Hospital would reduce the provision of emergency surgery service in the future, and planned obstetric care would be suspended,” remarked the Minister of Social Affairs. Maripuu met a delegation of Põlva County, including the county governor, the city mayor and the hospital administration. “We discussed the future of Põlva Hospital at the meeting and we reached a common conclusion that the ministry had no reason to treat Põlva Hospital differently from hospitals with a similar actual service area. With that in mind, we are planning to review the Regulation which allows Põlva Hospital to continue activities as a general hospital in the future and we are going to review together the hospital network development plan in order to secure that all hospitals in the counties with a population of less than 40 000 are treated on an equal basis, in line with the principle of equal treatment,” said the Minister of Social Affairs. Maripuu asserted that all the services which Põlva Hospital had been providing to people in Põlva were going to be continued in the future.
The Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder replied to the interpellation concerning the activities of the Minister (No 55), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Jaanus Marrandi, Ester Tuiksoo, Tarmo Mänd, Villu Reiljan, Mai Treial and Karel Rüütli on 15 April. The interpellators asked why the Minister of Agriculture had not paid sufficient attention to the European Union cooperation in rural affairs and agriculture, had been absent from the meetings of the ministers of his field of competence, and had not participated in the meetings of the European Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu.
Seeder confirmed that he had participated three times. “As former member of the parliament, I take the work of specialist committees very seriously and the reasons for my absence have always been reported in advance to Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee,” the Minister explained.
Seeder said that participation in the work relating to the European Union was very important for every Minister of Agriculture and definitely a priority activity, too. “I confirm that I have participated in every council meeting which has had a bearing on Estonia and at which fundamental decisions concerning this field have been made. The presence of the Minister has always been guaranteed there. I have also participated in the intermediate discussions, although not in all of them,” the Minister of Agriculture said. “The positions of Estonia have been represented and protected in a dignified manner also whenever I have been absent from the meetings of the Council of Ministers,” he added. The positions represented and expressed by officials at European Union level, as well as all positions of Estonia presented in councils, have been in accordance with the political level. “Moreover, the positions in more relevant issues concerning the European Union agricultural sphere have been submitted as separate drafts to the Government for approval and then presented for a position to both the Rural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu and the European Union Affairs Committee. Also, the agriculture sector has been actively involved in the discussion. I have repeatedly met representatives of the corresponding sector at the meetings of the agriculture and rural life development council,” explained Seeder.
During the open microphone, Marek Strandberg took the floor.
The Riigikogu Press Service