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Sunday 16.12.2018 | Name days: Alvīne
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De Facto: hospital network's reform – only for show

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe five hospital levels detailed in documents cannot be considered substantial enough for an entire reform or optimization of the country’s hospital network. De Facto programme of LTV has found out that hospitals will be allowed to provide the same services they already do, some even more so.

In the study that cost EUR 1.3 million, experts recommended reviewing the local hospitals network, and converting the majority of them into care hospitals.

The programme reports that to make sure Latvia’s regions are not left without any hospitals at all, experts of the World Bank offered two scenarios – one was for an optimal hospital network, and the other, not as radical, was harmonized with Latvia’s National Development Plan. But even this scenario was not realized.

De Facto notes that the first variant would have had four first or lowest level hospitals, whereas thirteen would be reformed into care centres. In the second variant, eighteen hospitals would have been put on the first level. However, neither the first nor the second variant has been realized. Instead hospitals are allowed to function as they did before. Some hospitals are even allowed to do more.

Prime Minister and acting Healthcare Minister Māris Kučinskis admits that there has been a lot of pressure from different hospital representatives. On top of that, representatives of multiple hospitals told De Facto that this reform will not change anything, and that the provided level fits their offered range of services.

After one and a half years, hospitals will have to prove that they worked in accordance with quality standards established for their level. The management of Healthcare Ministry admits that now all hospitals’ provided levels are justified. However, after 2019 it will be hard to avoid compliance with changes. For example – if a requirement for six specialists in a specific field exists, no excuses will be accepted, as noted by LTV.

«We will want to see those six specialists up and about in one and a half years. So that there is no situation when there were no specialists and no way to attract them or if equipment broke down or something else happened. Hospitals have agreed to get those specialists, because they organized a big campaign about staying on the same level in spite of the fact that there is still no clear and justifiable reason for it,» says Healthcare Ministry’s deputy state secretary Daina Mūrmane Umbraško.

De Facto also notes that the next attempt to sort out the network of smaller hospitals will be in the second half of next year. EU funding to support hospitals is already being divided in accordance with each hospital’s level. «This is EUR 330,000 for the first level and up to EUR 1.1 million for the third level. This time the ministry promises to follow investments.»

Ref: 224.109.109.2091


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