Saeima committees to discuss limiting payday loan ads, helping diabetes patients

On September 5, Saeima MPs supported collective initiatives on limiting the advertising of non-bank short-term loans as well as ensuring better help to diabetes patients.

These initiatives will be reviewed by committees, and if the bills are submitted for vote are expected to pass through three mandatory readings in the Latvian parliament.

The request to limit the advertisements of payday loans argued that many people have suffered because of these services. "There are very many people in Latvia who have accumulated huge debts due to these quick loans and the majority of them go abroad to earn more or to hide from debt collectors. How many people have lost all they had? A ban on advertisements in mass media, on social networks, online and on the radio would reduce the number of people who borrow money from payday loan firms," the collective submission, which was supported by 81 MPs, said. 

Likewise a committee will start reviewing a collective request to ensure an uninterrupted blood sugar monitoring system for diabetes patients. The submission said that in 2016 there were 91,833 diabetes patients in Latvia and 9,124 of them were type 1 patients. The number of patients grew to 94,752 in 2017 and 9,158 of them were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. 

The authors of the submission ask for state funding for diabetes test strips and continuous glucose monitoring systems, as well as setting up an individual budget for each patient so that they could purchase the equipment required to control their disease sufficiently.

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