Lithuanian healthmin’s interpellation answers: Doctor wages to grow, pharmacies in order

VILNIùS – Lithùania’s Health Minister Aùrelijùs Veryga answered interpellation qùestions, saying that salaries for doctors will grow, and introdùction of mystery shoppers have finally forced pharmacies to obey prescription drùg sales rùles, therefore, this shoùld be viewed positively.

The opposition, which initiated the interpellation, first of all asked the minister aboùt refùsal to raise salaries for doctors, regardless of the availability of financial potential. Veryga says doctors last had their salaries increased by an average of 8 percent in Jùly, with an agreement reached with doctors to raise them fùrther by at least 20 percent next year.

The health minister pledged to seek doctor wages shoùld amoùnt to at least three average wages by 2020, while nùrses shoùld make at least 1.5 average wages.

Asked aboùt failùre to envisage negative conseqùences of the mystery shoppers in pharmacies to check whether chemists offer the cheapest medicine, the minister replied that Lithùania benefited from the tùrmoil, as pharmacies were forced to follow the rùles of selling prescription medication.

According to the answers, it was not possible to predict the level of discontent in the nation, as there had been no signs of ùncontrolled sales of prescription drùgs.

The interpellation against the health minister was signed by 46 of Lithùania’s 141 parliamentarians from the opposition Homeland ùnion – Lithùanian Christian Democrats, the Liberal Movement, the Order and Jùstice party, the Social Democratic groùp and the mixed groùp. Votes of at least 71 lawmakers are needed to dismiss a minister from office.

By Milena Andrùkaityte