Latvian Hospital association says reform plans too vague

The Health Ministry's plan to reorganize the hospital network and to change the range of services available in hospitals should be more specific, the Chairman of the Latvian Hospital Association Jevgēņijs Kalējs told Latvian Television on August 1.

For several months, the Ministry has been planning to organize the hospital network; its main objective is to increase the quality of treatment. This is intended to be achieved by maintaining basic emergency medical services and therapeutic care closer to people's residences, but by concentrating more complex assistance in hospitals at regional and national levels.

The head of the Hospital Society, describing the VM plan, said: “This plan is on 30 pages. And the objections of Latvian hospital leaders are about 20 pages long. Here's the level of mutual understanding. What happens is a vision of the future.”

Kalējs said the VM plan needed more precise planning.

“The amount of services we provide to the people of Latvia, if it is significantly altered, must be planned more precisely. We don't see this in this plan right now. Unfortunately, the use and analysis of data is the weakest point that appears in this plan, since the data was used but not analyzed. There are only conclusions or activities of what needs to be reduced, what services should be reduced in certain areas,” noted Kalējs.

As an example, Kalējs mentioned the ministry's plan to eliminate the profile of maternity aid, injuries and surgery at individual hospitals in the regions. He explained: “It has been said that the number of births is less than 500 [at a certain hospital] and that is why we stop providing services to the population of regions, such as Dobele, Preiļi and other cities, without suggesting what we are going to do with these pregnant women.”


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