Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Ramūnas Karbauskis, chairman of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), on Monday threw their support behind Aurelijus Veryga after opposition lawmakers decided to initiate an interpellation procedure against the health minister.
Saulius Skvernelis, Aurelijus Veryga, Ramūnas Karbauskis
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

"I regard his performance as very good. The barrage of criticism against the minister is a sign that he is really making the changes that are badly needed," Karbauskis told BNS.

The prime minister said that he saw no reasons for launching an interpellation procedure against Veryga.

"The minister raised these issues and brought forward proposals addressing the country's longstanding problems in this area, particularly when it comes to the medicines market," he said.

Skvernelis thinks that patients voicing their dissatisfaction with the minister's performance are being manipulated.

"Doctors should take responsibility and say how many people and to what extent have been harmed by self medication," he said.

Karbauskis also underlined that the current situation surrounding prescription medications was a consequence of pharmacies having defied laws for a long time, rather than the health minister's fault.

After certain rules allowing the so-called mystery shoppers to visit pharmacies took effect in early November, patients complain that pharmacists began to demand a prescription for some prescription medications they used to sell without one.

Also, a health professionals' organization has started talking about doctors and other health professionals going on strike if their demand for a 30 percent pay raise in early 2018 is not met.

Under the Statute of the Seimas, an interpellation initiative against a minister must be backed by at least by 29 parliamentarians. The minister must submit his or her response within two weeks after receiving such an interpellation and the Seimas must debate on the response within five working days after receiving it. The Seimas then votes on whether to approve or disapprove of the response. At least 71 votes are necessary to pass a no-confidence motion.

BNS
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