At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu appointed Urmas Reitelmann a member of the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and Vilja Toomast a substitute member.
With the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Estonian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europeˮ” (95 OE), submitted by the Foreign Affairs Committee, Vilja Toomast was appointed a substitute member of the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 89 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution.
After the discussions in the committee, members of the Foreign Affairs Committee had proposed to appoint, in order to strengthen the activities of the Estonian delegation, a third substitute member in adherence to the requirement to ensure equitable representation of the various political forces and women and men in the national parliament, as set out in the Statute of the Council of Europe. The Reform Party Faction nominated Toomast.
With the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Estonian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe”” (96 OE), submitted by the Foreign Affairs Committee, Jaak Madison was excluded from the delegation in connection with the termination of his mandate and Urmas Reitelmann was appointed a member of the delegation. The Estonian Conservative People’s Party nominated Reitelmann. 52 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution and 44 voted against. There was one abstention.
After the passing of today’s Resolutions, the Estonian delegation to PACE has six members: head of the delegation Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski, members Eerik-Niiles Kross and Urmas Reitelmann and substitute members Indrek Saar, Raivo Tamm and Vilja Toomast.
A discussion on whether the member of the delegation was suitable for the office was held before the Resolution was passed.
Raimond Kaljulaid took the floor on behalf of the Social Democratic Party Faction in the debate. Marko Mihkelson spoke on behalf of the Reform Party Faction and said that the faction would vote against the Resolution. Urmas Reitelmann spoke on behalf of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party.
Three Bills passed the first reading:
The Bill on Amendments to the Foreign Service Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (45 SE), initiated by the Government, is intended to harmonise foreign service with the principles of general public service. For example, the current foreign service officials’ salary system will be made similar to that of other officials. The principles of the reimbursement of the costs relating to the payment of the foreign mission allowance and to long-term assignments abroad will also be changed. The amendments will not reduce the total income of officials who are on long-term assignment abroad.
The procedure for assignment of specialised diplomats and non-staff administrative officials to foreign missions will also be amended, and the decision-making competence relating to the assignment, including appointment to posts, will be left to the sending ministry. Amendments will also bring greater flexibility to deciding issues at local level.
The explanatory memorandum notes that the amendments concern all officials employed in foreign missions and their family members, that is, approximately 800 people.
The Bill on Amendments to the University of Tartu Act and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund Act (98 SE), initiated by the Government, will create the legal bases for the reimbursement of the labour costs of medical residents from the budget of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund from 2020.
The Bill provides that the organisation of residency, the theoretical training and the organising costs incurred by residency teaching hospitals will be financed from the state budget. The labour costs of medical residents will be reimbursed from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund in the future. So far, all costs related to residency have been financed from the state budget through the Ministry of Social Affairs.
The proposed amendments concern in particular the Estonian Health Insurance Fund which will begin to reimburse the labour costs of medical residents to the University of Tartu; currently the Ministry of Social Affairs is in charge of reimbursing. 18 million euro have been planned for that in 2020. The Bill also concerns the University of Tartu who will have an additional contract partner to fund residency places, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, besides the Ministry of Social Affairs.
With the Bill on Amendments to the Act on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Precursors thereof (99 SE), initiated by the Government on 21 October, opportunities will be created to interlink the data of the Estonian Drug Treatment Database operating at the National Institute for Health Development. The aim is to interlink registries (the population register, the Tuberculosis Registry, the Communicable Disease Information System and the Causes of Death Registry). The amendments will provide an opportunity to ensure the accuracy of data and an opportunity to interlink them through personalisation. This in turn will ensure more effective treatment and quicker communication between doctors and patients. Organised and interlinked registry data will also enable to obtain a whole picture of the spread of a disease in Estonia and to obtain adequate statistics when forecasting service volumes.
The explanatory memorandum notes that, at present, data are entered in the Estonian Drug Treatment Database in such a manner that it is impossible to identify patients. For that, at the start and end of drug treatment, the personal identification code of a patient is encoded with a unique code in the Estonian Drug Treatment Database, and this code is linked with the data of the specific treatment case (i.e. data are not personalised in the database). For the service provider, already now, the patient is always personalised at the beginning of a treatment case, but the data are not reflected in the Estonian Drug Treatment Database.
In the future, data will be entered in the Estonian Drug Treatment Database in personalised form for every drug treatment case. This is already being done now in the case of other registries. For example, patients’ data are entered in the Tuberculosis Registry in personalised form. Due to the amendments proposed by the Bill, a higher security class will be assigned to the Estonian Drug Treatment Database, and cases when data can be issued to other persons will be provided for.
The amendment does not concern the service providers offering drug treatment. Since additional data fields that will contain personal data will be added to the notifications from the Estonian Drug Treatment Database, only the working arrangements of the employees of the National Institute for Health Development may change.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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