The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted long-standing issues in the Latvian healthcare system: the lack of finances and staff.
The European Commission points out that reforms in this sector are still at an early stage. Particular emphasis should be placed on extending the availability of general practitioners and various examinations in order to prevent diseases from setting in. The widespread unhealthy lifestyle of the society is another major issue.
Executive Chairman of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis (New Unity) points out that recommendations to strengthen healthcare have been issued to all Member States.
Dombrovskis said that by stimulating the economy it would be desirable to invest as much as possible in green and digital technology. These investments may not only help to overcome the current economic crisis but also follow modernization of the economy and achieve objectives of the Paris climate agreement.
The recommendations state that high-speed Internet is widely available in Riga and other major cities, in contrast to rural areas. Therefore, it would be necessary to improve the situation in these regions.
The European Commission also insists on the need to invest in waste recycling, as well as renovating and warming buildings to increase energy efficiency.
Recommendations also mention the development of environmentally friendly transport.
Finally, the European Commission praises the success of the Latvian authorities in the fight against money laundering. Control of the financial sector has now become more effective. However, monitoring in this area can still be improved by risk analysis. Investigation of financial crimes and trial of perpetrators should also be encouraged.