Healthcare workers and patients rally for funding increase

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The Latvian Junior Doctors’ Association, together with the Latvian People with Special Needs Cooperation Organization “Sustento”, and several other Latvian patient organizations and associations representing medical workers, hold a picket at the Saeima on Thursday, May 11, requesting politicians to promise stable health care funding.

The Latvian Junior Doctors’ Association previously pointed out that 47% of Latvian doctors are aged over 55 years, indicating that Latvia may lose practically half of its working doctors in the next 10 years, with the latest data showing that one in four young doctors is ready to leave Latvia.

The organizations previously sent politicians an open letter saying that healthcare spending must reach 12% of the state's budget spending this year. This means that in addition EUR 140 million should be allocated.

In turn, the 2024 budget needs to provide healthcare funding of 15% of public budget expenditure, which means an additional amount of around €310 million.

Those funds should be invested in enforcing public health guidelines, as well as reducing patient co-payments and queues to medical services, the organizations said.

If the protests fail to produce results, they could also continue in June and autumn.

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