Latviski English По-русски
Monday 30.03.2020 | Name days: Nanija, Ilgmārs, Igmārs

State Audit: Latvia’s Healthcare Ministry is fighting problems that existed ten years ago

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAlthough since 2005 there have been adopted to ensure Latvia has a sufficient number of doctors with appropriate qualifications, the State Audit found in an inspection that this goal still has not been reached.

Though the number of doctors in Latvia meets the requirement set by the World Health Organization per 1 000 residents in Europe, reality shows that specialists with appropriate qualifications, especially in regions, are either unavailable entirely or are very limited.

Planning documents are being developed but human resource supply remains short

The audit concluded that the goal established more than ten years ago by Healthcare Ministry – to provide the country’s healthcare system with sufficient human resources with appropriate qualifications to meet demand – still has not been reached. The problems identified a decade ago remain topical today. This includes insufficient number of nurses, disproportionate number of doctors and nurses, high inequality with presence of medical personnel in regions and Riga, low wages, and inefficient switch of generations.

The proportion of medical specialists in Riga and Pieriga continues increasing, but their shortage remains observed in all sectors. The situation in regions was not changed much by Healthcare Ministry’s activities to provide employment to people outside of Riga. State Audit therefore believes Healthcare Ministry and municipalities have to find new solutions to improve the situation, because ensuring accessibility of healthcare services for all residents is the responsibility of municipalities.

The analysis performed in the audit shows that the healthcare sector lacks at least 3.5 nurses and approximately 300 midwives. Only 65% of new specialists with appropriate qualifications remain in Latvia after graduating, and only 52% of nurses and 54% of midwives become employed in Latvia after graduating. The switch of generations is not going efficiently enough – 55% of healthcare and support personnel are older than 50 years.

Wage level is a significant aspect to motivate youngsters to start a career in healthcare and thereby preserve existing human resources. Originally Healthcare Ministry planned to significantly increase wages for healthcare personnel in 2009. Unfortunately, the first steps for increasing wages did not come sooner than 2018. Lasting negligence has created a shortage of medical personnel and has negatively affected the profession’s prestige, State Audit notes.

Development of medical education does not help resolve human resource problems

Industry-specific regulation of professions would serve as foundation for a proper education system. The audit found that Latvia’s healthcare industry has two times more regulated professions and 1.5 times more specialties, sub-specialties and additional specialties than in Lithuania and Estonia.

State Audit notes that Latvia still lacks coordinated planning of studies compliant with industry needs, because education institutions that prepare doctors are subordinated to two sectors – education and healthcare, whereas placement planning is handled by Healthcare Ministry. This means the situation when the number of graduates from state-funded healthcare studies is larger than the total number of available spots in the country’s universities, which does not limit the use of state budget funds accordingly.

Auditors point out that new doctors enter Latvia’s labour market late. In Latvia, the length of education programmes in different medical professions exceeds the minimal length detailed in the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications, whereas in most cases the minimal length of studies in Lithuania and Estonia meets the minimal length of studies.

The entry of nurses and their mobility on the labour market is made difficult by the complicated process for acquiring a nurse’s profession and associated certification system. Nurse education system prepares nurses on different levels. However, the nurse profession is also rather fractured. Healthcare Ministry does plan to improve nurse education in the future by introducing a base specialty – general care nurse.

Certification and re-certification – transparent and significantly improved

In order to work full-time in a specific healthcare position, medical personnel have to not only register with healthcare personnel register, but also acquire a certificate that proves their professionalism.

Nevertheless, auditors add that the initial certification procedure for medical personnel who want to receive a certificate immediately after graduating is only formal and creates unnecessary burden because acquired theoretical and practical education and experience do not differ at the end of studies and at the moment of certification exam. However, young specialists have to pass two exams in the end.

Medical personnel have to renew their certificate every five years. However, re-certification requirements are formal, they are either partially or systematically ignored, because not all certification institutions check the information provided by medical personnel in regards to work experience and not all professions are provided with professional assessment criteria, State Audit notes.

Auditors say it is not possible to revoke certificates in the event if regulations and ethics norms are breached, because there is no efficient cooperation and information exchange between Health Inspectorate and certification institutions authorized to revoke issued certificates.

Leave a reply

Latvian government imposes new restrictions on public gatherings

A new restriction imposed by the Latvian government states that no more than two people are allowed to gather in a room of a public place. This restriction will not extend to people living in the same household, parents and their children, as well as persons performing duties associated with their profession.

Round timber price decline observed in Latvia in first half-year of 2019

Compared to the 1st half of 2019, the average purchase prices both of coniferous round timber and of deciduous trees fell in the 2nd half of 2019. The largest drop was recorded in the prices of black alder sawlogs in diameter 18–24 cm, while the smallest decline was observed in the prices of asp sawlogs in diameter 18–24 cm.

Detachment to grow harder, important to maintain routine, says Estonian psychologist

A psychologist in Estonia, where an emergency situation has been in place for ten days amid a COVID-19 outbreak, has evaluated that it will become harder to live in isolation and suggested having a daily routine, ERR reports.

KPV LV picks Nemiro as vice-chairman despite reputation problems

Ralfs Nemiro and Ēriks Pucens were picked as KPV LV political party chairman Atis Zakatistovs deputies during the first online meeting of the newly-elected management board, as reported by the party.

Why does Latvia’s Interior Affairs Minister want the football federation president’s post?

Although Latvian Interior Affairs Minister Sandis Ģirģens should be putting all effort into his direct duties and measures to limit COVID-19, he, in spite of Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš’s objections, he still intends to run for the post of president of Latvian Football Federation.

Latest COVID-19 data for Baltics. 376 in Latvia, 484 in Lithuania, 715 in Estonia

The number of COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 376, which is the lowest number of infections among Baltic States. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, report 484 infections. 44 of the infected people are medical workers.

Rīgas satiksme cancels most discounts for the duration of state of emergency

On 27 March Riga City Council’s interim administration decided to cancel most of the discounts offered to residents in public transport to reduce passenger flow and limit the spread of COVID-19, as reported by the city council.

In Spain, 838 people die from COVID-19 one day

In Spain, in one day to Sunday, March 29, 838 people have died from health problems related to COVID-19. Meanwhile, in Italy, for the second consecutive day, the number of lethal cases dropped.

COVID-19 confirmed for Stradins Hospital surgeon

Infection with COVID-19 coronavirus has been confirmed for a surgeon working at Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, as reported by LTV programme Panorāma.

airBaltic to recover pre-crisis operation volumes in 2021, if not sooner

Latvia’s national airline airBaltic may recover its pre-crisis operation volumes in 2021, if not sooner, says airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss.

Russia closes land border; trucks exempt from ban

Russia is closing from Monday, March 30, its borders in a measure to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, but cargo trucks will be allowed to cross the border, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Covid-19 update in Baltics. 347 in Latvia, 437 in Lithuania, 679 in Estonia

The number of Covid-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 347, which is the lowest number of infections among Baltic States. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, report 437 infections.

Week in Lithuania: 5th person succumbs to COVID-19, court postpones January 13 case hearing, new ambassadors appointed

Last week, in Lithuania, the President urged EU leaders to be tougher on COVID-19 after the fifth person in Lithuania died from COVID-19. In other news, Senukai retail chain was cleared by Competition watchdog and a court postponed the hearing of the January 13 case.

BNN summary of the week: Muižnieks reinstated as rector. Friendly fuel prices

BNN gives you a summary of the key events of the past week, told in news stories of the following topics: State of Emergency, Post, Outlook, Solutions, Opinion and Price decline.

1 500 people have returned to Latvia since the beginning of state of emergency

After 27 March, no repatriation flights are planned for Latvian citizens unless it is an emergency, as confirmed by Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s press-secretary Jānis Beķeris.

Covid-19 infection confirmed for a doctor of Rēzekne Hospital

Covid-19 infection has been confirmed for a doctor of Rēzekne Hospital, as reported by Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre. The centre received this information on Thursday, 26 March. SPKC notes the infected doctor has been provided with recommendations for preventive measures.

Europol warns about rapid crime rate increase during coronavirus pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic there has been an increase with crime rates, as criminals and criminal organizations quickly adapt their methods, as reported by Europol on Friday, 27 March.

Experts explain | don’t buy into internet offers of slimming pills – they don’t exist!

The healthy lifestyle cult has become more popular in recent years. This tendency has opened the way for greedy snake oil salesmen to get rich at the expense of people who want to become slim, especially now, when residents stay home and want to stay in good shape without exercising.

Estonia orders protective equipment from China for 10 million euros

Estonia has ordered from a company in China antiviral protection and medial equipment worth more than 10 million euros. Tallinn explained supplies could not be ordered in Europe right now, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reported.

Electricity price reduces for households in Latvia

From Q4 2019 onward the price of electricity has reduced, according to the latest market data from the Public Utilities Commission. Prices benefit from warm weather and recovery of water reserves, which allows increasing the power production output at hydroelectric power stations.

Latest Covid-19 data for Baltics. 280 in Latvia, 344 in Lithuania, 575 in Estonia

The number of Covid-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 280, which means this country has the lowest number of infection cases among the three Baltic States. Lithuanian media report 344 infection cases.

BNN asks | expert speaks about the «panic» over coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

I would like to explain to readers that the word panic may not be the best description for the general mood that has increased in many parts of the world, including Latvia, in the past several weeks because of the new coronavirus.

EU states agree to overcome virus outbreak and economic crisis together

The EU heads of member states and governments have agreed in a distance meeting to fight the virus outbreak in the territory of the bloc with joint efforts, ensuring the supply of medical equipment and funding the development of a vaccine, the EU European Council sated in a press release.

Workers from all industries eligible for idleness benefits in Latvia

After meeting certain criteria, workers from companies working in all industries will become eligible for idleness benefits, as provided by Latvian Cabinet of Ministers supported rules developed by Economy Ministry for support of companies affected by Covid-19.

US surpasses China with largest number of coronavirus infections

In the US, the world’s largest number of confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus has been registered, surpassing the official data of China, American news agency Associated Press reports.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!