Valga hospital chief removed after offering COVID-19 vaccines to associates

Margus Ulst appearing on Wednesday's
Margus Ulst appearing on Wednesday's "Pealtnägija". Source: ERR

Valga Hospitals' board decided on Wednesday, January 27, to recall from office its head, Margus Ulst. Ulst had offered acquaintances from the Rotary International organization the chance to jump the line in vaccinations against COVID-19. The board says Ulst's overall management of the vaccine program had been under review, and not just his unofficial offer of surplus coronavirus vaccine doses.

The head of the hospital's council, Marek Seer, said that the board discussed both the organizing of the facility and Margus Ulst's activities regarding the vaccinations, the representative informed BNS (Baltic News Service).

"Considering the health care sector has had to solve the global pandemic and the crisis deriving from that and the fact the vaccination is the hope for ending the crisis, the council can't accept the situation where the Valga Hospital head's activity has crossed the agreed borders," Seer said.

He added that ranking the target groups for the vaccinations is very important.

Seer told ERR that a consideration in removing Ulst, beside his having offered Rotary clubmates vaccine doses, was the head of the hospital's overall activities in coordinating the vaccination program.

"Margus Ulst was recalled due to everything surrounding the vaccinations. The council no longer had the confidence to cooperate with him," Seer added.

During the course of the board meeting, it was decided that from February 1, the acting head of the hospital will be Marek Seer.

"This is because in a crisis situation, continuity of action is necessary for health care institutions, so the council decide to fill the position this way until April 30," Seer said.

For Seer to perform the responsibilities of the head of the hospital, he will have to resign from the chairman position. He added that during the time when he will temporarily hold the position of the head of the hospital, a public contest for the permanent place will be announced.

Ulst's off-schedule coronavirus vaccines had arisen from the fact that doctors had found one vial was good for six doses, rather than the five planned for. Ulst said that he had a total of about 10 doses on offer, an offer he made to the Rotary Club via email. The latter rejected the proposal, with the email ending up being leaked to the media.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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