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Sunday 29.03.2020 | Name days: Agija, Aldonis
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Prime Minister says problems in Latvia’s healthcare sector accumulated over 20 years

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Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš

Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš and Finance Minister Jānis Reirs do not promise additional funding for healthcare in the country’s budget for 2020.

As it is known, in protest over insufficient funding and excessive work load, Latvian healthcare workers will organize a protest outside the Saeima on 7 November, as confirmed by board chairman of Latvia’s Young Physicians Association Kārlis Rācenis.

On Tuesday, 29 October, Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele told journalists that it is not possible to secure additional funding for doctors and other healthcare workers without changing taxes.

During a press-conference after the government’s meeting on Tuesday, Kariņš told journalists that the government is aware of the healthcare sector’s needs.

He added that in the past three years a total of EUR 400 million was allocated to healthcare and another EUR 50 million will be allocated next year. Most of this amount is intended to finance the increase of wages.

The prime minister also added that problems in healthcare had formed over a period of 20 years and it is not possible to resolve all of them quickly. This is why the government is committed to solving problems for healthcare workers in a gradual manner.

Read also: Latvian healthcare workers to hold protest in November

Reirs, on the other hand, mentioned limited budget capabilities for finding loose funds. He also mentioned slower economic growth in 2020, lost corporate income tax revenue worth EUR 300 million, as well as expenditures related to Brexit.

«I am pessimistic on the topic of finding additional funds for healthcare workers. There will be no additional funds in 2020 budget,» said the finance minister.

The prime minister added that next week he plans to meet with finance minister, healthcare minister and healthcare sector’s representatives to discuss options on improving the situation in healthcare.


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