The Ministry of Health can't tell us the number of active pediatricians, the police have no insight into how many knife attacks occurred, Minister for Housing Henri Kox responds to a parliamentary question with 30 additional questions, to which he has no answer. Does the State even know what's going on in this country?
Paulette Lenert said in a parliamentary response in December that Luxembourg counts 137 pediatricians. The Ministry of Health later clarified that 10 of them are researchers, leaving only 127 practicing pediatricians. But the list from the Association of Pediatricians only names 76 doctors.
On December 22, 2022, we contacted the Ministry of Health to inquire about the actual number of pediatricians in Luxembourg. Finally, after a follow-up email and four months later we receive the following response: The Ministry of Health can not guarantee that all pediatricians registered in the system are active doctors. Although this could potentially be verified by cross-referencing data with that of the National Health Fund, such a comparison is currently not possible.
The message I take away from this: We could tell you but don't want to put in the effort. There is a problem to which we have no solution. Or, we could have all detailed information, but we're simply not interested.
Not to even mention the four-month waiting time for a response, because that is considered "normal" in Luxembourg's press landscape. The Health Ministry is just one of many examples.
I often contact the police regarding data. Has the number of knife attacks increased? How many of these incidents occurred in the last years? Response: The police database does not enable you to filter for specific cases. This response has reached my inbox several times.
I'm not criticising the police's press department, but the fact that it cannot be normal in the year 2023 to not have insight into detailed figures. Especially as this affects crime, which should be treated as a top priority.
So to all the dear people out there out criticise us journalists for not going the extra mile: It's not easy when you cannot access the data. Getting into the nitty-gritty details of a story means relying on official figures, which is not even possible.
Meanwhile, we're still waiting for various responses to other queries.