The Ombudsman has taken action ex-officio in the latest measles outbreak in Romania, asking the Health Ministry for explanations over the bill on mandatory vaccination of children having failed since April to follow the legislative stages for approval.
In a press statement released on Friday, the Ombudsman says the ex-officio action regards possible violation of Article 22 (34) and (49) in the Constitution providing for the right to life, physical and psychological integrity as well as the defence of health and protection of children and young people.
“The Ombudsman is requesting, inter alia, that the Health Ministry provide the reasons why, since April the bill on mandatory vaccination of children has not followed a single stage of the regulative approval that would regulate the situation that is the object of the ex-officio action of the Ombudsman. All this, despite the fact that on April 8, 2016, a Health Ministry official told Digi 24 private broadcaster’s ?24 minutes’ programme that a bill sponsored by the ministry to make vaccination mandatory was to be put up for public discussion shortly after,” reads the Ombudsman’s statement.
It also says that verifications so far have unveiled that the bill in question has neither been put up for public discussion, nor is it following the stages of interministerial approval or posted on the agenda of the two chambers of Parliament.
On September 22, the Health Ministry said the bill was still undergoing interministerial approval and was expected to be put up for public discussion very shortly, adds the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman is asking the Health Ministry to say whether or not it has conducted national information campaigns to convince parents about the usefulness of the MMR measles, mumps and rubella vaccine; how accessible medical services are to parents in order for them to follow the calendar of vaccinations for children; whether or not there have been problems with the distribution of the MMR vaccine.