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The Seimas Ombudsmen have focused on public health care issues

10 March 2016

 MG 6937In response to reports in the media regarding outburst of tuberculosis in Skuodas, the Seimas Ombudsmen launched an investigation on their own initiative.

The investigation conducted by the Seimas Ombudsmen Augustinas Normantas and Raimondas Sukys will examine whether municipalities of Lithuania correctly implement public health care as well as prevention and control of infectious diseases.

“After dramatic events in Skuodas it is essential to find answers to certain questions, such as how public health care functions are carried out by administrations of municipalities in different schools and are these functions performed well,” emphasised the Seimas Ombudsman R. Sukys.

The Seimas Ombudsmen will also aim to ascertain whether legal regulation of health checks of school personnel is sufficient. Moreover, the investigation will reveal if public health safety regulations (hygiene norms) guarantees that school personnel works only having undergone all procedures laid down in a health check.

“The question is, when and who is entitled to decide that school personnel should be examined further. At present, the legislation provides only one condition – in case of an outbreak of an infectious disease and epidemics,” noted the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office.

Laws stipulate that schoolchildren have to present a health certificate to a public health specialist at their school. Moreover, the Hygiene Norm HN 21:2001 specifies that only professionals who have undertaken all procedures which are in line with frequency established in a health check, and possessing knowledge of hygiene and first aid are granted permission to work in schools.

The Law on Public Health provides that municipalities establish municipal public health bureaus to perform public health care functions; however, the State Public Health Service and Subordinate Territorial Public Health Care Institutions exercise public health safety control over services provided by personal health care institutions and educational establishments in municipalities. Further, they exert control over compliance with hygiene norms as well as prevention and control of infectious diseases.

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