The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of 14 Bills:
The Bill on Amendments to the Health Services Organisation Act and Other Acts (73 SE), initiated by the Government, will give family nurses who work together with a family physician practising on the basis of a practice list of the family physician the right to issue medical prescriptions. For that, the Health Insurance Act and the Medicinal Products Act will also be amended. The aim of the amendment is to save the working time and reduce the workload of family physicians, and thereby also to reduce the waiting lists. This concerns in particular the issuing of repeat prescriptions to patients with chronic disease where a doctor’s visit or consultation is not needed. The person is given one and the same medicinal product and is issued the same prescription every few months, over very long years. Starting from the third year of residency, resident physicians will have the right to issue medical prescriptions equally with a physician who has acquired the speciality of specialised medical care.
In addition, resident physicians will have the right to participate in the provision of health services of specialised medical care with the aim of acquiring the speciality. The Act will extend the right of the physician who is the supervisor of the resident physician to decide which services the resident physician can provide starting from a certain moment.
Another amendment will enable physiotherapists to practice in family physician teams and is directly connected with the health centres that will be established where other specialities would also be represented besides the family physician.
The Bill on Amendments to the Aviation Act (83 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill establishes the general rule that radio communication is ensured both in Estonian and in English, but only English is used when flying at the height of over 9.5 km in Tallinn flight information region. Radio communication in Estonian concerns circa 20 private pilots who do not fly so high. The requirement of radio communication in English arising from European Union law applies to commercial flights.
The Bill also specifies the regulation concerning exemption from security checks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be given the right to exempt guests who are on a visit on the invitation of the President of the Republic from security check on the request of the Director of the Office of the President of the Republic, and to exempt guests who are on an official visit to Estonia from security check on the request of a member of the Government of the Republic or the Secretary of State.
The Bill on Amendments to the Medical Devices Act (63 SE), initiated by the Government, will bring the Medical Devices Act into conformity with European Union law. For that, the requirements for affixing the marking of conformity to medical devices and the requirements for notifying the supervisory authority will be specified.
The Bill on Amendments to the Act on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Precursors thereof (64 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill specifies the Act according to the amendments that have taken place in European Union law under which operators will have to register with the Agency of Medicines if they wish to begin to acquire precursors of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Also, it will be possible for state forensic institutions to give narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and precursors thereof to authorities for research and development activities.
The Bill on Amendments to the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act and Other Acts (74 SE), initiated by the Government, will amend the provisions concerning the imposition of involuntary treatment on persons suffering from extremely dangerous communicable disease. It also specifies the obligation of the family physician to ensure the availability of immunisation to the patients on his or her practice list. The Bill also specifies the procedure for immunisation. It provides that midwives can perform immunisation, besides doctors and nurses. The amendment is due to the fact that, in practice, midwives are already performing immunisations. For example, vaccinations of new-born babies against viral hepatitis B and tuberculosis.
The Bill will reduce the obligation of employers to organise and finance medical examination of employees in areas of activity with a major risk of spreading infection. The Bill will change the principles of the medical examination of employees in regard to communicable diseases. According to the Bill, regular medical examination of employees will no longer be required in the future, and employers will have the right to send employees to an additional medical examination on the basis of the results of risk assessment and on the basis of needs. Medical examination will still be required before the commencement of employment in specialties or positions provided for by law, but the requirement of regular examination will be eliminated because it is not an evidence-based requirement.
At the same time, the fields of activity where medical examination in regard to communicable diseases is required will be restricted. In comparison to the current Act, rescue workers, staff who are in direct contact with the provision of accommodation, swimming and pool services, persons who prepare, package or sell medicinal products, and police officers and prison officers who are in direct contact with prisoners or detained persons will not have to pass medical examination in regard to communicable diseases. The requirement of medical examination will remain in force only in the most important fields of activity with the highest risk of spreading communicable diseases and where the requirement of medical examination is not provided for by other Acts, for example education workers. Availability of medical examination will become simper because, under the Bill, occupational health doctor will be authorised to conduct medical examination, besides the family physician.
The Bill on Amendments to the Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act and Other Associated Acts (70 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill will transpose into Estonian law a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council. A major amendment involved is the aim to simplify rules for the mobility of professionals between EU countries by offering a European Professional Card to all interested professions which will allow easier and faster recognition of qualifications. In addition, an alert system will be introduced that will oblige national competent authorities to alert each other in the event of professional misconduct, in particular in the health sector.
The Bill on Amendments to the 2014−2020 Structural Assistance Act (79 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill provides for the procedure for the appointment of competent authorities arising from the Implementing Regulation of the European Neighbourhood Instrument, the specifications of financing agreement, and the provisions delegating authority to establish the Regulations on eligibility of expenditure and making financial corrections.
The Bill on the Ratification of the Agreement on the Transfer and Mutualisation of Contributions to the Single Resolution Fund (68 SE), initiated by the Government. On 21 May 2014, an agreement was opened for signature in Brussels under which the European Union Member States commit to transfer to the EU Single Resolution Fund the contributions that they raise from banks. This Agreement will have to be ratified or approved, in accordance with their domestic law, by all the Member States whose currency is the euro and by the Member States whose currency is not the euro that participate in the Single Supervisory Mechanism and in the Single Resolution Mechanism.
The Bill on Amendments to the Securities Market Act (67 SE), initiated by the Government. The main aim of the Bill is to reduce the administrative burden of issuers on the stock exchange. Another aim of the Bill is to increase the transparency of the securities market.
The Bill on the Ratification of the Protocol amending the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (66 SE), initiated by the Government. The Act ratifies the Protocol amending the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income.
The Bill on Amendments to the Water Act (76 SE), initiated by the Government. The Act will specify the legal acts on hazardous substances, including the definition of the chemical status of a surface water body, and repeal the provisions regulating the establishment of the lists of hazardous substances 1 and 2, and the legal act on the maximum allowed specific release per unit of raw material or production.
The Bill on Amendments to the Hunting Act (77 SE), initiated by the Government. The aim of the Bill is more efficient hunting in order to quickly reduce the number of wild boar and to prevent the spread of African swine fever. According to the Bill, it will be permitted to hunt wild boar from all-terrain vehicles and other power-driven vehicles with a stopped engine, with the help of an artificial light source, and it will be permitted to catch wild boar with trap fences.
The Bill on the Ratification of “Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the One Part, and Iceland, of the Other Part, concerning Iceland’s Participation in the Joint Fulfilment of the Commitments of the European Union, its Member States and Iceland for the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change“ (60 SE), initiated by the Government. The Agreement lays out the European Union legal acts that Iceland applies in order to jointly fulfil the reporting and monitoring commitments. The European Union and its Member States assume no additional commitments under the Agreement.
The Bill on Amendments to the Waste Act and the Environmental Charges Act (75 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill amends the provisions on hazardous waste and hazardous properties of waste in the Waste Act in connection with the amended European Union law. The provision delegating authority is also prepared under which a Regulation will be established to specify the provisions on the classification of waste. The section concerning hazardous properties of waste in the current Waste Act will be repealed.
The sitting ended at 5.47 p.m.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian): http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/et/201509301400
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu (NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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