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Ceturtdiena 09.04.2020 | Name days: Valērija, Žubīte
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Latvian Healthcare Minister promises to not shut down hospitals

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Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele

Hospitals in Latvia will not be closed, although from now on hospitals will be allowed to provide services only if they are of sufficient quality, Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele told newspaper Dienas Bizness in an interview.

She said 1 April will mark the beginning of categorizing of hospitals. In it, hospitals will be able to say which services they are able to provide at appropriate quality and which services they will have to cease providing in the future.

Healthcare Ministry predicts hospitals, especially in the countryside, will experience a profile change. «Of course, we will be monitoring this process. From now the state will allow hospitals to perform only the services they are able to provide at an appropriate quality. A hospital cannot possibly provide a specific service if it lacks relevant specialists,» says the minister.

This is why the minister says hospitals will not be closed; rather there will be a concentration of services. The question is which services and how they will be provided by specific healthcare institutions.

As previously reported, Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš is confident that not all of the money provided to healthcare industry is being used efficiently. He expects the ministry to provide an action plan.

The prime minister told public broadcaster LTV programme Rīta panorama that he has gone through State Audit’s report on human resources in healthcare, admitting that he was not happy with it.

He stressed that the government has started working on a large reform in relation to municipalities and education system. According to him, the third part of this puzzle is the matter about healthcare.

«One thing is saying there isn’t enough money, but I am certain I am not the only one who believes this money is not being used efficiently,» he said.

According to the prime minister, an important matter to happen to hospitals soon is the overall improvement of their efficiency. He rhetorically asked if all buildings considered hospitals and provide first aid are really hospitals.

Kariņš called the situation in which healthcare services provided in Riga and the countryside differ like day and night as unacceptable. «Clearly there are hospitals that are unable to provide their function,» he said, adding he could name them, but will not.

The prime minister stressed that currently the biggest question is making sure people are able to reach hospitals. It is also important to ensure hospitals and good and competent.


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