Latvian medical workers request dismissal of the Minister of Health

Due to the continued mistakes made by the Ministry of Health in managing the crisis and the planned mobilization of medical workers, Latvian Medical Association (LAB) has requested the dismissal of Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts, as confirmed by LAB representative Evija Ansonska.
LAB board member Kārlis Rācenis says the vote was unanimous. LAB vice-president Roberts Fūrmanis adds that the decision was made with support from the majority of the board.
Ansonska reports that LAB invites the head of the government to immediately review crisis management in the country and involve professional healthcare organizations and experts in decision-making.
Additionally, LAB expresses the entire medical community’s shock with the unprofessional approach used by Pavļuts and the ministry in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.
This is why the association stresses that a situation in which the entire responsibility for the incorrect and slow decisions by the government and Ministry of Health is left on the shoulders of medical workers, «whose opinions were ignored for two whole years», is unacceptable.
The healthcare sector found out about the ministry’s plan to announce mobilization of medical workers around the country on Tuesday, 26 October. And this information came from mass media, not proper government communication channels.
The association demands the ministry and minister «stop running Latvia’s healthcare system into ruin» and instead take responsibility for the mistakes made in the organization of the vaccination process. «We should mention that since July 2021 the Ministry of Health has not approved patient prioritization guidelines as required by the Cabinet of Ministers. This important task is taking too long and the unavailability of guidelines makes it even harder for medical workers to treat Covid-19 patients properly,» representatives of the association say.
LAB also believes that the ministry’s announcement regarding mobilization creates unnecessary alarm for residents and medical workers alike. On top of that most specialists who had voluntarily agreed to work with Covid-19 patients still have not been called in.
It was necessary to properly plan resources ahead of time before commencing mobilization. It was also important to provide medical workers engaged in treatment of Covid-19 patients before making such drastic steps.
There is also no plan as to where medical workers will be sent, medical workers critically state.
Vaccination is the most important Covid-19 prevention measure. The finances for the organization of this measure were spent with no real return of investments, says LAB.
Medical workers say that at first the work of general practitioners was looked down on, but not colleagues are being blamed for all problems related to vaccination.
«Instead of resolving the lasting problem with wages of medical workers, the government is seriously thinking about hiring foreign specialists, which only serves to demotivate the medical workers who are on the brink of exhaustion,» the announcement states.
Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts is sad with the decision of LAB to request his dismissal and suggests working together to overcome this crisis.
«I am sad to see LAB wants to request my dismissal. I can understand the dissatisfaction with the government’s contribution method in dealing with the pandemic, which is a very difficult time for medical workers. I propose we overcome this crisis together,» the minister wrote on Twitter.
The minister also says he has called a meeting of the healthcare sector’s strategic council.