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Monday 22.01.2018 | Name days: Austris
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Discussions about healthcare funding end without any tangible results

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Wednesday, 10 May, Saeima’s Social and Employment Matters Committee held active talks about the opportunities to find funding for the industry – some of the deputies participating in the discussion expressed support for the division of the social tax. Others were concerned that this would not resolve the situation. Some deputies also criticized the prime minister and finance ministry for the tax reform.

Healthcare Minister Anda Caksa emphasized that it is not possible to secure quality and accessible healthcare services without providing doctors with appropriate pay.

She notes that the European Union has admitted that the healthcare budget per capita would require approximately EUR 1,000. Unfortunately, Latvia is currently behind Europe in this regard.

Caksa emphasized that healthcare is the largest resource of the national economy. In the planning process of Latvia’s budget, it is important to allocate a certain percentage for healthcare – it is simple in theory, but complicated in practice.

Also, according to the minister, if healthcare is the government’s priority, the fiscal space should be used to find funding for it.

Healthcare Ministry’s parliamentary secretary Janis Trupovnieks notes that the ministry supports raising social tax and thereby acquiring funding for healthcare.

At the same time, Saeima deputy Einars Cilinskis notes that diverting 1% of the social budget for healthcare would be a solution. This, however, will not likely contribute much. Cilinskis’ proposal was to divert funding to healthcare from state mandatory insurance.

This proposal was also supported by Romualds Razuks, who also said that Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis’s promise about 4% of GDP holds no value, because the source of funding remains unclear.

Deputy Ivars Zarins invited Healthcare Ministry to be steadfast, because, according to him, Finance Ministry used healthcare as the main compensating mechanism in the reform’s development process.

Latvian Health and Social Care Workers Union’s chairman Valdis Keris said that it is also important to make sure healthcare is not provided by a smaller funding than this year. It is also necessary to establish specific goals. Keris also believes diverting only 1% from the social budget will not resolve the matter of unavailable funding.

Jevgenijs Kalejs, chairman of Latvian Hospitals Association, notes that without finding additional funding for healthcare, the public sector will be erased. In addition, Healthcare Ministry’s developed healthcare system would be useless without the necessary funding.

At the same time, Kalejs adds that it is no less important to resolve the matter with overtime work and find a way to increase pay for regular hours.

Ref: 224.109.109.6091


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