PM: 'working group' to run Health Ministry

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Daiga Behmane, who heads Latvia's Association of Health Economics, declined the government's offer to take over as Health minister Monday evening, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told LTV morning news program Rīta Panorāma Tuesday. Therefore the premier has decided to continue personally supervising the ministry’s executive work and call off the search to replace the recently-resigned Ingrida Circene.

Straujuma will continue to act as Health Minister until the next government is approved by the 12th Saeima, to be elected this October.

Straujuma said the health sector's NGO leader decided to reject the chance to temporarily keep government-pledged health reforms moving forward in the three months left until the 12th Saeima elections because of the extremely brief time period. She doesn’t want to abandon work and other projects for the temporary position.

The premier will create an extraordinary working group of experts, including Behmane and other sector specialists, to draft proposals that could be implemented by the elections.

Straujuma also plans to hire a parliamentary secretary to help lead the Health Ministry.

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