Minister: New Health Board chief must have background in medicine ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Social affairs minister Tanel Kiik with acting Health Board chief Mari-Anne Härma.
Social affairs minister Tanel Kiik with acting Health Board chief Mari-Anne Härma. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Any prospective new Health Board (Terviseamet) director should have a work or educational background in medicine, social affairs minister Tanel Kiik (Center) says. The board is to get a new chief to replace the recently departed Merike Jürilo.

"There is no time to start studying here," Kiik said Tuesday, adding that the coronavirus has made more pressing the requirement that the new director should have a medical background, as well as management experience.

Merike Jürilo stepped down at the beginning of the month after announcing her resignation in mid-June, following Kiik's withdrawal of support for her. The board had faced criticism from various government members, including the prime minister, over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Jürilo's second-in-command, Martin Kadai, also announced his resignation last week, and no longer works at the Health Board.

Current acting director, Mari-Anne Härma, who started work Monday, has already ruled herself out of going full-time, citing a lack of experience.

Kiik noted that the board had a wide remit, ranging from dealing with the spread of viruses, including COVID-19, to preventing cyanobacteria propagating in seaside areas.

The director must also deal with checking so-called fake medicines (which could encompass a range of unproven remedies including MMS -ed.), which Kiik said that not everyone wanted to be involved with.

The competitive selection process has already started, organized by the State Chancellery, with the deadline for applications being August 3, Kiik said, adding that no back-room deals have been done aside from this.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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