bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 17.08.2019 | Name days: Oļegs, Vineta
LithuaniaLithuania

Planned hospital reorganisation in Lithuanian regions irks both mayors and patients

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

If the plan of the Lithuanian Ministry of Health to overhaul treatment services in the provinces does not hit a snag, the rural hospitals will be soon providing only essential care and nursing, the focus will be on out-patient care and treatment will be available only in larger county hospitals.

Focusing on treatment in them and leaving less services in the districts – this is the gist of an experiment pushed forward by Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga in the Alytus region in southern Lithuania.

«Some hospitals already have hospital care. Now we are looking at how to deal with this situation further. The regions are losing part of their population, the rest of the population is older, thence these services need to be somewhat different,» Veryga said.

The minister believes that optimising the network of medical institutions in the country will not push small hospitals out of business.

However, many Lithuanian mayors and heads of hospitals disagree and claim the planned reform will bring about only harm, not help to the patient.

«Currently, about 80 per cent of the population of the district receives urgent necessary assistance in the hospital admissions section. It would be inconvenience for people because, with the reform completed, they would be transported several kilometre to the hospitals,» says Algirdas Miklyčius, director of Varėnos Hospital.

According to him, about 3,000 to 4,000 patients are treated annually in the Lazdijai and Varėna districts and about one thousand surgical operations are performed in them annually.

Importantly, some of the municipalities have invested in medical equipment, so that the hospitals can tend to the patient‘s medical needs.

Some of the mayors also note that although the government is promising to strengthen the regions through encouraging and financially supporting young families to resettle to the workforce shortage-ridden regions, in reality, the government is driving a wedge between the less and more abundantly populated regions.

«We have invested heavily through various programs, we have good hardware, infrastructure, doctors. I cannot imagine a hospital if there is no resuscitation. We are still talking about strengthening the regions, we are just talking, and in fact we all centralise it,» says Aras Margelis, mayor of Lazdijai in southern Lithuania.

Agreeing, mayor of Varėna, Algis Kasšetas, called on the minister to help the provinces, not make harm to them.

«We optimised the network, the number of beds, the staff and work on the plus. My request to the minister is this: do not disturb, please, but help. The policy of paying for services could be more rational and also support areas where the secondary level of health care is relevant. This will solve the problems,» he reasoned.

If the hospital reorganisation plan is green-lit, hospitals in the Lazdijai, Druskininkai and Varėna municipalities would be added as divisions to the Alytus County Vincas Kudirka Hospital, a major medical hub in southern Lithuania.

«If they agree to provide different medical services in each of the municipalities, the quality of medical services would improve and the medics‘ salaries would go higher,» Veryga in his plan.

However, Margelis, the Lazdijai mayor, bristles against the minister‘s conclusions.

«It does not make sense to incorporate Lazdijai hospital in the Alytus County Hospital due to a single reason: our hospital works profitably, the people are happy with the services and the spectrum of services is optimal. The attaching would mean death penalty to us,» said Margelis.

According to Vaidotas Grigas, director of hospital in Molėtai, a town 120 kilometres east of Vilnius, the implementation of the pilot project throughout the country would trigger many social issues in Molėtai.

«We do not have transportation to Utena, the county centre. Most of the buses run twice a week to Molėtai and even rarer to the county centre,» Grigas noted. «It is hard for our municipality inhabitants to get admitted in higher-level hospitals due to the lack of beds in them. I just don’t see how the county medical facilities will cope with an increase in patient numbers.»

At stake might be more than just the will to optimise the hospital network in the country.

The minister does not conceal that that amendments were drawn up and are pursued in order to allow the ministry to become co-founder of the hospitals.

«Since municipalities are the only founder of municipalities, we are in such a situation that the ministry does not have any tools to form the network. Our desire is to become one of the founders and participate in the process,» the minister defended his hospital reform plan.

Meanwhile, Lina Bušinskaitė – Šriubėnė, the spokeswoman of the Health ministry, emphasises that the ongoing discussion will not necessarily lead to the decisions.

«Besides, if the reorganisation takes place, the good examples of medical facility mergers are worth being taken into consideration,» she told BNN.

According to her, the ministry will be consulting the municipalities and local hospitals throughout the process.

«The ministry aims to draw up a plan this year on the optimisation of medical treatment institutions. Our objective is to see them well functioning and providing quality services. One has to agree that changes are necessary and they have to come – sooner or later,» she concluded.

The Ministry has said it will introduce the first steps for the reorganisation of medical institutions at the end of May and has assured that unilateral decisions will not be taken.

Meanwhile, the patients out there complain not only of long queues to see the doctor, but also for the dragged-out waiting lines for basic laboratory tests. Besides, many patients observe deteriorating medical care – both in-patient and out-patient medical facilities.

«When I was in local hospital with my child, a nurse brought him wrong pills. Thank God, I was watchful and refused to administer them to him,» a young mother from a provincial Lithuanian town is quoted as saying by a Lithuanian news outlet.


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania: PM Skvernelis undergoes surgery, Nausėda meets Merkel, rebukes Latvia

Last week, President Gitanas Nausėda rejected the government’s candidate for EU judge, hints of big changes at Šiaulių Bankas ahead

Independent Deputies Faction joins forces with Honour to Serve Riga

Riga City Council’s Independent Deputies Faction has signed a cooperation agreement with Honour to Serve Riga political party, pledging support for the party’s mayoral candidate Oļegs Burovs, as LETA was told by the faction’s leader Valērijs Petrovs on Monday, 18 August.

Saeima’s MPC investigation committee requests information on every issued license

The parliamentary committee formed to investigate the mandatory procurement component has requested access to information regarding every issued MPC license and decision made by officials in regards to this field, says the committee’s representative Ilze Vanaga.

Latvian athlete receives two-year disqualification

Former Latvian long jumper Ineta Radeviča has received a two-year disqualification, as confirmed by International Association of Athletics Federation’s Athletics Integrity Unit.

Minister: state budget funds will not be used to compensate PNB Bank’s clients

The Deposit Guarantee Fund is sufficient to pay compensations to affected PNB Bank clients. This means not a cent from Latvia’s state budget will be used, said Latvia’s Finance Minister Jānis Reirs in a telephone conversation with public broadcaster LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Friday, 16 August.

Estonia to invest 22 million in construction of a new TV house

Estonian government has set aside EUR 22 million for the construction of a new public television building, as reported by Estonian public media ERR.

Another one falls – Latvian FCMC halts PNB Bank’s operations

Operations of PNB Bank [formerly Norvik Banka] have been halted in Latvia, as confirmed by Finance and Capital Market Commission.

Unemployment index in Latvia drops – rate down to 6.4% in Q2

In Q2 2019 Latvian unemployment rate constituted 6.4 %. Compared to the previous quarter, unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points, and compared to the rate recorded a year ago, it dropped by 1.3 percentage points.

64.7% of Latvia’s population reportedly employed in Q2 2019

905.6 thousand people or 64.7 % of Latvia’s population aged 15–74 were employed in Q2 2019.

Lithuanian Conservatives’ tensions: can the party split?

The Conservative Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) have risen to unseen heights lately – although in the opposition now, in 2016 parliamentary election the party racked up a record support in its 30 years’ history.

Minister: Latvia’s social budget surplus has reached one billion

The surplus of the state social budget has come close of the pre-crisis level – EUR 1 billion, said Latvian Welfare Minister Ramona Petraviča in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama on 15 August.

Riga City Council permitted to elect mayor after two-month deadline

In spite of the fact that 21 August will mark two months of Riga City Council working without a mayor, a condition that permits Latvia’s Saeima to dismiss the entire city council, deputies of the municipality will nonetheless have the right to elect a mayor after the deadline, says Environment Protection Minister Juris Pūce’s advisor for legal affairs Valdis Verners.

Lithuanian president unhappy with Latvia’s decision to purchase energy from Belarus

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has voiced sadness over Latvia’s decision to purchase electrical energy produced at Astravets nuclear power plant in Belarus not far from the Lithuanian border. He admits, however, that this decision was not unexpected for him.

State Real Estate claims ReRe Būve 1 may be trying to circumvent the law

Construction company Rere Būve 1 publicly voices desire to continue implementing the construction contract. However, the construction company’s submitted work schedule for reconstruction of New Riga Theatre has everything changed – volume of work, terms and budget, Latvian State Real Estate reports.

Lithuanian mountaineer dies climbing French Alps

Lithuanian 38-year-old mountaineer Vytautas Mažeika died in a 50 m fall in the French Alps, Lithuanian public media LRT reports with reference to 15min.lt.

Estonia decides to reform pension system; increase not promised

Helir-Valdor Seeder, leader of Estonian coalition party Isamaa, has confirmed that the government has agreed on his proposed pension reform, as reported by Estonian public media ERR.

Ruling party in Lithuania promises national agreement for education affairs

While more and more small town schools close down in Lithuania, the leader of the ruling party promises a «national agreement» for education affairs, as reported by Lithuanian public media LRT.

Viesturs Zeps’ has yet to convince NCP and Unity to support him as mayoral candidate

Mayoral candidate in Riga Viesturs Zeps still has not convinced New Conservative Party and Unity to support him, according to what he said in an interview to public broadcaster LTV programme Rīta panorama on Thursday, 15 August.

Audit: planning problems impede growth of Latvia’s defensive capabilities

Problems with planning are the main reason why Latvia’s defensive capabilities are developing slowly, as concluded by State Audit.

Minister: increase of doctors’ wages is a priority over all other promises

First it is necessary to increase doctors’ wages. Then it will be possible to tackle all other promises, said Latvian Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele during a meeting of the Saeima’s Social and Employment Matters Committee on Wednesday, 14 August.

Is Latvia becoming more hospitable? Tourist upturn observed

A total of 781.1 thousand visitors stayed at Latvian tourist accommodation establishments in Q2 2019, which is 1.1 % more than in Q2 2018.

Village in Russia to be evacuated following nuclear accident

Russian authorities have announced evacuation of Nenoksa village, as it is the closest to the military area where a nuclear accident recently happened. This may mean the situation there is far more dangerous than initially reported, as reported by New York Times.

Lithuania’s president says he sees no reason to meet with Putin

A meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is unlikely and would be pointless, said Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nausėda in an interview to public media LRT.

Shadow of political dealings over SRS. ZZS people – Knoks, Podiņš, Vaivars

Although the State Revenue Service has never had a truly spotless reputation, there is now a much bigger and darker shadow hovering over the service’s director general Ieva Jaunzeme. Serious concerns have been voiced in regards to possible employment of «chosen people» in important posts, which allows them to either halt or push criminal processes forward in order to make life difficult for their political opponents, pretending to fight the good fight while, in reality, realizing some «political hit».

Prime Minister: 2020 budget will be Latvia’s largest one yet

The next year’s budget will be the largest in the history of Latvia and will exceed EUR 10 billion, said Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to public broadcaster LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Wednesday, 14 August.

Newest comments