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Tuesday 20.03.2018 | Name days: Made, Irbe

Politicians divided over where to get money for health care

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Leaders of the main politic parties are divided over where to get financing for the health care sector.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUDins Smits, health minister candidate from Zatlers Reform Party, believes that many people are currently not in the tax system that is funding health care. “Both people who dodge taxes and those who live abroad come to Latvia for medical services,” he says.

According to him, people should be given a chance to take part in financing their own health care needs. He also proposes limiting secondary care medical services accessibility to those who have dodged taxes. “This could take form of longer lines, for example,” he adds.

However, Dagnija Stake, Health Ministry parliamentary secretary argues that the model is too ideal. She believes there still would be a possibility that exactly people who do not pay taxes fell ill most often. “It could as well be an unemployed mother of several children. We cannot escape that. We will have to treat those people any way,” Stake says.

She is advocating the current Health Minister Juris Barzdins initiative that people would gladly pay on voluntarily basis in exchange for receiving medical services when they need them.

Saeima member Ilze Vinkele also criticizes Smits’ idea, saying that it abounds in complete unawareness of how the medical budget works. “It derives money from both VAT and excise tax. So there are no people in Latvia who are not paying any taxes at all. Also a person not paying workforce taxes, still buys excised goods.”

According to her, the current health care system is fine. If patients were distinguished by sums they have paid in taxes, the state would later have to treat them even more ill and for bigger money.

Janis Zarzeckis, health minister candidate from Slesers Reform Party, suggests medical tourism as a chance to make profit. “Each foreigner that comes to Latvia leaves here 2 500 lats in taxes monthly. All the parties involved benefit from that,” he says.

Saeima member Vitalijs Orlovs argues that it should not be doctors who rack their brain about where to get funds. “It is the task of finance and economy ministers. Doctors should only think how to manage this money as efficiently as possible,” he says.

2011 health care budget accounts for 3.5% of GDP or 486.5 million lats – 15.6% less than in 2008 (576.5 million lats).

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  1. lolo says:

    Refusing health care to needy What is this contry

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Bryson says:

    Just cause it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not super hleupfl.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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