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Editorial: the wrong end to start a reform

Send us a hint

State reform planned by government includes lay-off of 3,500 of public cadre by 2019. The main blow hits social ministry. While the promise is not to thin ranks of such as offer social and health care services, support staff in regional hospitals is faced with cuts. Among others things, the state wants Tartu University Hospital to send 85 people packing and outsource part of the work.

Already, the hospital has let the social ministry know the plan to cut 85 of staff isn’t wise nor feasible. The government has already ventured to contradict the claims.

In the reactions, what was lost was the weakness of the entire lay-off plan – is it built in a way to be a benefit at all?

Three weeks ago, Auditor-General Alar Karis said they started at the wrong end. Instead of the mathematic cuts, they should investigate which tasks the state would have to fulfil and whether corrections were in order. Thereafter, questions may be asked about the numbers.

The current approach, however, is on the surface – needing to cut, let’s get with it. From there, it felt logical to target the support personnel.

But let’s ask some questions about the support personnel. The government in its reaction seems not to know. Indeed, these people perform no surgeries. But they do help in meaningful ways. Otherwise, why not conclude that after a traffic accident a guy again learning to walk will just as well go without the crutches.

So dig deep, state. Take the essential approach.

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