Health Minister Viņķele survives Saeima confidence vote

Medics staged another demonstration outside Saeima November 28, protesting against the provisions for the healthcare sector provided in the budget, which was promulgated into law by President Egils Levits November 27.

Meanwhile Health Minister Ilze Viņķele (Development/For!) survived calls for her resignation inside the building following a lengthy debate that took up most of the day.

Viņķele told Saeima deputies there was nothing unexpected about calls for her resignation as every single one of her preceding Health Ministers had faced similar calls at one time or another and it went with the territory of one of the most demanding positions in government, then embarked on a lengthy description of the things she has done during her year in office and future plans, making extensive reference to reports by the OECD and European Commission to support her position.

"I want mainly to say thank you to medics... only together can we continue to work to improve the Latvian health system," Viņķele said, adding that while there are "potholes in the road" at present they could be repaired.

Opposition deputy Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis noted that his Harmony deputies had not actually signed the motion calling for Viņķele's resignation as they regarded her as only one minister in a government under Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš that was collectively responsible for more widespread policy failures. He listed ministers' names and asked where they were.

"You are jointly responsible along with the other government ministers," Dombrovskis said, before saying Harmony deputies would support the motion for her resignation.

In the end the request for resignation was rejected by a vote of 52 to 30.

 

 

 

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