Government press service refuses to disclose source of Kallas proposals
Even though Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that her controversial proposals for new coronavirus measures came from a group of experts, the government's communication bureau has been unable to give ERR a straight answer in terms of the group's makeup and who came up with particular proposals.
Kallas talked on the Vikerraadio "Stuudios on peaminister" talk show on Tuesday about an idea to move unvaccinated people down treatment queues or demand they pay for treatment. The PM walked back on her statements on Wednesday, saying that she was listing "proposals made by a group of experts." Kallas said the proposals were theoretical and are considered unrealistic by the government.
Asked by ERR what group made the proposals, the government's new head of PR Liis Velsker said on Thursday: "The prime minister is advised, that includes proposals, by the Government Office, various institutions and persons, including agencies in charge of solving the healthcare crisis. Work memos, opinions, advice etc. are not public based on the Public Information Act. Decisions made by the government are public."
ERR then contacted several agencies that might have made such suggestions to the PM, while no one admitted having made them. Member of the COVID-19 scientific advisory council Andero Uusberg said that proposals to move unvaccinated people down on treatment queues or require them to pay for treatment have not passed through the council. On the contrary, Uusberg referred to the proposals as contrary to scientific and medical ethics.
ERR sent additional questions to the government's press bureau on Friday, while the reply remained just as vague as before.
"Proposals were made by Government Office and ministry officials. They are collegiate and no one person or agency can be highlighted regarding any of them," Velsker said.
Asked on Tuesday about additional restrictions for unvaccinated people, Kallas said moving them down scheduled treatment queues is one option: "One proposal is that if people go to the hospital, doctors must help them. If things get bad and we must start restricting scheduled treatments, surgeries, for example, then unvaccinated people will move down the queue. And treatments are limited at their expense."
Kallas also said on the talk show: "We are also discussing if the Health Insurance Act allows for the recovery of medical expenses in certain cases. If vaccines have been made available to people, but they do not use them and fall ill, is it possible to recover the costs."
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Editor: Marcus Turovski