Health Board chief: We have to brace for coronavirus staying

Üllar Lanno
Üllar Lanno Source: ERR

The Health Board (Terviseamet) is taking into account that the coronavirus will stay for longer and for that reason, the authority needs additional personnel and money to deal with it, head of the Health Board, Üllar Lenno, said.

"The coronavirus won't go any time away soon. Today we need to think about how can we live with it," Lanno said on Tuesday, talking to ERR morning radio show "Vikerhommik".

In his opinion, the shock in spring didn't carry with it the sense that the virus was here to stay, and that it would start changing our lives and activities and lead to reorganization within society.

Lanno also explained that his call for an extra 27 Health Board employees are being realized because the Minister of Social Affairs, Tanel Kiik (Center) decided to hive off the necessary funds, which should be enough until the end of 2021.

"We have the required money until the end of 2021, which would imply the coronavirus was gone by then. But it important to also think ahead as far as 2022-2025," he said.

Commenting on the additional employees, Lanno explained that in Latvia and Lithuania where the coronavirus numbers are hitting record figures at present, it could be said the local health boards are not able to check on all infected people.

Lanno emphasized that conquering the coronavirus isn't feasible, though it would free up the additional employees from their positions. The current situation requires the Health Board to put their main attention on the virus, and the other areas would be in the background. Lanno said it can be assumed that even if the coronavirus pandemic ends, the occurrence of a new issue can be expected and then the new staff's work could be redirected to any new threat. For this reason the Health Board's work and readiness should be brought to the next level, he said.

Lanno added that developing quality management in the health care area has been stalling since the beginning of this month, adding he wants to rectify that.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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