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Monday 25.09.2017 | Name days: Rauls, Rodrigo
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Family physicians association: government spends residents’ taxes irresponsibly

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian Association of Family Physicians, which represents 1,163 physicians practising in Latvia, asks the government to secure appropriate funding for healthcare by increasing healthcare expenditures to at least 12% of all state expenditures, BNN was informed by the association.

The proposal to increase the tax burden and introduce mandatory health insurance ties with taxes puts at risk the basic rights secured by Sections 111 and 93 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia.

The association states: «Latvian residents have paid taxes in the amount for the state budget to afford diverting at least 12% of total state expenditures instead of the current 9.6%. Only political will and the ability to divide budget expenditures from less important goals to more important ones are needed to accomplish that.»

The association also states that claims about the lack of finances in Latvia’s state budget to be allocated for healthcare are baseless. The lack of funding for healthcare is the result of the government’s, political parties’ and policy-makers’ short-sightedness and irresponsible behaviour.

«It seems political decision-makers and their influencers believe in their immortality. Policy-makers ignore the thousands of Latvian residents who suffer and die because they are unable to receive timely medical healthcare,» members of the association say.

Conclusions from healthcare economists of the World Health Organization and other financial experts about the government’s abilities and expenditures show that tax revenue of the Latvian government are sufficient.

Expert says: «International comparisons create the impression that Latvia’s government has plenty room to manoeuvrer if we look at the comparison between the government’s budget expenses for healthcare and the total government expenditures. By offering higher relative priority for healthcare within the current government’s budget, Latvia cold allocate higher budget expenditures for healthcare and increase financial security of the poor resident groups.»

Continuing, the expert says: «Our recommendation is allocating at least 12% of the state budget revenue on healthcare, which would still be below the EU average, but comparatively close to Estonia and Lithuania. This would allow the government increasing budget expenditures, reaching 5% of GDP without introducing new taxes.»

If we compare Latvia with other European countries, in which people receive appropriate healthcare, we see that this particular portion of government’s tax revenue is spent on municipal, education and culture needs.

Municipalities’ enormous spending of tax money becomes clear in the pre-election period, officials’ declarations and data reported in State Audit’s inspections. We know that the disordered education system costs Latvia 16% of its budget. This money would find better use elsewhere. The government’s primary objective is reducing tax expenditures in other industries and dividing the state budget in a way that would help save lives and provide timely treatment, the association reports.

Ref: 225.109.109.2409


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