Latvian doctors request Health Minister to step down

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The Latvian Medical Association (LĀB) released a statement October 26 evening requesting Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts' resignation.

Taking into account the long-term errors of the Ministry of Health (VM) in crisis management and the planned announcement of medical mobilization, the LĀB requests the resignation of the Minister of Health. The Association calls on the Prime Minister to immediately review the management of the crisis in the country and to involve professional health organizations and experts in decision-making,

The LĀB is of the opinion that the Health Ministry and the Minister have had an unprofessional approach to tackling the crisis caused by Covid-19.

"The association, therefore, reiterates that it is no longer possible that all responsibility for the government's and VM's flawed or untimely decision-making is placed on health workers whose views have been blatantly overlooked for two years. The health industry also learned from the mass media today about VM's intention to announce medical mobilization in November," LĀb said in the statement.

The association demands that “the Minister of Health and Health cease to undermine the Latvian health system and take responsibility for the mistakes of the organization of the vaccination process”.

LĀB also criticizes the fact that it has not approved patient prioritization guidelines since July 2021, as required by Cabinet regulations. “This important task has been delayed, and the absence of guidelines poses an even greater burden for the medics involved in the treatment of Covid-19 patients,” says LĀB.

Interior Minister Marija Golubeva told Latvian Television late Tuesday evening that the Development/For! faction would not support the request. In her opinion, LĀB claims Pavļuts is responsible for all mistakes made.

Daniels Pavļuts said on Twitter he was upset by that decision.

“I understand the frustration with the government's performance during a pandemic, medics have an extremely tough time. I call for a joint overcoming of this crisis. I have convened the meeting of the strategic council," said the Minister.

The National Alliance has so far indicated that it will not request the replacement of the Minister for Health.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš told Latvian Television October 27 that he takes the association's request seriously and would meet the doctors. "It is important not to let panic take over the minds of medics and the society. We have to find a way to get through this," said Kariņš.

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