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Saturday 25.01.2020 | Name days: Sigurds, Zigurds
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Latvian minister allows for online consultations for stroke diagnosing

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Latvian Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele

To make assistance more accessible to stroke patients and ease stroke diagnosing in regions, it may be possible to adopt 24/7 online consultations with Latvia’s largest hospitals, said Latvia’s Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele in an interview to public broadcaster LTV programme Rīta Panorāma.

When reminded of a case in Rēzekne, when a doctor acted with negligence when providing assistance to a patient suffering from a possible stroke, Viņķele considers the option of performing a new audit for stroke units – groups of doctors who provide assistance to patients 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Results of the last audit performed by the Health Inspectorate were not positive.

The minister also allows for looking for solutions to make stroke units more accessible with help from professional associations. Online consultations with large hospitals in Riga are already accessible, but there is no set algorithm, explains the minister.

She also stresses that the case from Rēzekne outlines the problem with the shortage of specialists in Latvia’s regions. Clearly a person line the scandal-involved Georgijs Tihonovs, who is now involved in an inspection, should not be allowed to work. However, because of the shortage of specialists, Rēzekne hospital has decided to keep him, adds the minister.

Rēzekne Hospital has temporarily suspended Tihonovs for unprofessional behaviour.

Tihonovs is also accused of causing the death of a senior.

An inspection was held at the hospital after the story was posted on social networks by the daughter of some woman who was denied hospitalization. The board of the hospital has announced that the actions of the specialist were unprofessional.

At the same time, commenting on criticisms to the hospital’s board for insufficiently strict action in relation to Tihonovs, the board stressed that the litigation against the doctor lasts from 2015. So far there have been no results. On top of that, Latvian Physicians Association had recertified Tihonovs in 2016, recognizing his qualification.


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