Bureaucracy Award 2020 goes to Health Ministry

Latvian public media launched a Bureaucracy Award in 2020 where the public voted for the most complicated labyrinths of paperwork encountered in a certain sector. The award went to Health Ministry this year, LSM reported January 2.

Earlier this year, LSM.lv and LTV broadcast 4. studija called on residents to report and tell about the sector where purposeless bureaucratic labyrinths are most common. The interactive project was designed to save time and money of the public, entrepreneurs, authorities.

“We thought that the minute, tedious bureaucratic details were probably causing a lot of pain for someone, and we wanted to pay special attention to it,” said Marta Cerava, editor-in-chief of LSM.lv.

Overall, the project presented reports on at least 30 life situations where people have been forced to accept mounds of red tape, paperwork, visits to authorities. The Covid-19 pandemic also revealed situations for which officials weren't ready.

“This Covid-19 time, in our view, focused certain attention on one single industry, it was the health sector, but its problems were not those related to Covid-19 alone,” said Marta Cerava.

For example, a woman had reported she “periodically needed to buy a new breast prosthesis, purchased it over the last three years through the Vaivari Center. This year I visited the homepage of the Center, where I found that nothing had changed in three years. And I have to go to the GP again to get a referral on the need for a prosthesis.”

The public has have decided in the vote that health care is an area where significant improvements are needed, and the “Bureaucracy Award 2020” shall be bestowed on the Ministry of Health.

The Health Ministry's spokesman, Oskars Šneiders, said that, apparently if people have recognized that “the Ministry of Health is an institution for this award, we probably cannot deny, on our part, that more efforts should be made next year, we should try to do things better and certainly explain the decisions made to the citizens even better, […] and this next year. the award would probably be received by another institution”.

“But seriously, we wish all people good health next year, which is most important not only in these special circumstances, but also everyday,” said Šneiders.

There will certainly be no shortage of problems in 2021, so vote for the award will also be running this year.

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