At the Baltic Assembly Session held on Friday, 22 October, the Chairperson of the BA Social Affairs Committee, Silva Bendrāte, emphasised that the Baltic States need closer integration in several health care areas, and that can be achieved by implementing specific joint cross-border projects.
According to S. Bendrāte, pooling of resources for health care will positively affect the creation of a high-quality and cost-effective health care system in the Baltic region. She pointed out several specific areas in which cooperation among Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on health care issues is feasible.
For instance, the BA Social Affairs Committee has held broad discussions on establishing a more efficient organ transplantation system. Issues such as establishment of common specialised medical centres, joint procurement of state-funded medicines and medical equipment, provision of emergency medical services in border towns, treatment of infertility and establishment of a common sperm bank have also been on the agendas of Committee meetings.
“Implementation of such cooperation projects will be a time-consuming process; therefore, it is first necessary to draft an action plan”, acknowledged S. Bendrāte. She also expressed gratification about the decision by Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Prime Ministers to establish a special task force of the Baltic Council of Ministers for dealing with social and health care issues. Yesterday this task force held its first meeting and agreed on the timetable and tasks for further cooperation.
“We have suggested that representatives from the relevant committees of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian national parliaments be included in this task force. Involving parliamentarians in the task force would facilitate more comprehensive and in-depth consideration of matters under discussion and would promote the exchange of ideas,” said S. Bendrāte.
At today’s Session, the joint health-care projects of the Baltic States were also discussed by Didzis Gavars, Latvian Minister for Health, Nora Ribokienė, Lithuanian Vice Minister for Health, and Ivi Normet, Deputy Secretary General on Health of the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs.
The Baltic Assembly is an interparliamentary cooperation organisation of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania established for coordinating the Baltic States' cooperation on the parliamentary level, discussing issues and projects of mutual interest and expressing a common position on political, economic, social and cultural issues on the EU and international level. The Baltic Assembly consists of national delegations – 12 to 20 members from each country’s parliament.
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