The Health Board (Terviseamet) overstepped its authority in suspending planned treatments at dentists and private clinics for the duration of the coronavirus emergency situation, Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise finds. The decision should have been social affairs minister Tanel Kiik's to make, she said.
The Health Board may, if necessary, propose temporary requirements for access to health care to the social affairs minister during an emergency, but not actually impose them.
Up to now, the social affairs minister, Tanel Kiik (Center), has not imposed any restrictions on the availability of health care services or temporary requirements for the provision of health care services, meaning the Health Board could not have unilaterally made the rder.
Madise is therefore asking the Minister of Social Affairs to assess whether there is a need for such restrictions and, if there is, to authorize the Health Board to do so in accordance with the law.
The Chancellor of Justice also points out that such moves must be substantiated. For example, if dentists and specialists working in private healthcare facilities are not allowed to provide planned care, even in situations where personal protective equipment is sufficient, and the safety of healthcare professionals and patients is ensured by the use of said personal protective equipment, further justification must be found for the restriction.
Reasons are also required if the provision of health care is prohibited in all specialists, including infectious diseases, laboratory medicine, oncology, family medicine, gynecology and occupational health, Madise said.
"Please formalize the legislation legally and inform the addressees.
Please let us know your steps as soon as possible," Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise finished off in her communique to Tanel Kiik.
Editor: Andrew Whyte