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Latvian government fears losing EU financing for e-health system

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s Finance Ministry is worried about potentially losing the funding provided by the European Union for the country’s Single healthcare Industry’s Electronic System (e-health).

Finance Ministry’s representative Diāna Rancāne said during a meeting of Saeima’s Public Expenditures Committee that a post-supervisory period is currently going on for 2007-2013 projects. Now Latvia needs to demonstrate that the e-health system works so that there is no risk of losing EU funding.

«Inspections performed so far reveal certain risks, that certain services do not function as intended, and that the test environment differs from the real one,» explains Rancāne.

She stresses that the National Health Service needs to fix problems immediately and take project management more seriously.

Unfortunately, the level of quality in the current planning period is insufficient, considering both the amount of time that has passed since the project’s beginning and expected future delays. The ministry’s representative stresses that current observations show that the negative practice from the previous period still continues.

Read also: Minister promises new e-health procurement before year’s end

«Nothing has been accomplished and no contracts have been signed. We respect the work done by NHS and Healthcare Ministry in reviewing the project’s concept, but time doesn’t stop,» says Rancāne.

The ministry’s representative stresses that the budget funds allocated for the project are not being used effectively due to shortage of human resources. ‘If the project is delayed even further, which is something we predict, it is important to enhance NHS capacity, because otherwise funding may be invested in a questionable way, which could, in turn, mean losses of finances in the future,’ warns Rancāne.

Healthcare Ministry’s prepared report on e-health system’s adoption in Latvia in 2014-2017 showed that in order to adopt e-health system in Latvia, the total used funding from European Regional Development Fund is EUR 16.409 million.

EUR 325 630 was invested in the healthcare industry’s supervisory information system and eight e-services in total in the 1st stage of development. The majority of the funding or EUR 9.558 million was used in the project’s 2nd stage – the e-health portal and health information system were created and the single healthcare industry’s monitoring system was improved. 28 new e-services were introduced.

Another EUR 6.444 million was used to create the Single Emergency Medical Assistance and Disaster Management Information System, which has helped improve work efficiency of ambulance teams.

According to Healthcare Ministry, 71% of the main functions of e-health system have been adopted successfully. At the same time, 8% of activities were not implemented due to unexplained reasons, whereas 21% of activities were not performed due to shortage of financing.

Healthcare Ministry explained that the initially approved plan stated that EUR 42.149 million would be needed for e-health system’s adoption. The funding was not provided in full – in 2008 only 7% of the planned amount was provided and only 2% was provided in 2009. As a result of this, it was possible to implement only a small portion of planned activities, the ministry explains.

E-health system’s adoption in Latvia had a rocky start. Since launch the system has had numerous problems with accessibility and functionality.


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  1. Zerry says:

    Those projects should be planned on basis of own financing, and not EU funding. EU aid is a good extra, but maybe EU funds are also easier to circulate to wrong destination?

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