Hopes for state-funded hospice care in Latvia

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Currently, not everyone in Latvia has an opportunity to receive hospice care as a state-guaranteed service. It was expected that it could be provided from budget resources from next year, but there is hope that the service will be introduced from October 1 this year, Ministry representatives told Latvian Radio on May 17.

Home care is currently provided by the organization “Hospiss.lv” during a pilot project, as well as by the association of the Samaritans of Latvia.

Ilze Aizsilniece, president of the Latvian Medical Association, acknowledged that the situation in the field of hospitality is critical because there is no funding. Currently, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Welfare (LM) are working on amendments to the legislation in order to allocate State budget resources for this purpose.

LM Deputy State Secretary Elina Celmiņa said that Latvia could introduce hospitality service in autumn:

“Obviously, this is the moment when the pre-election promises can be met. Tomorrow's Saeima agenda includes amendments to the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance in order to determine the legal framework for the social component in hospice."

This ministries want to introduce a service that would cover both health and social aid components. In recent years, there have been a number of pilot projects that have helped to build the service, the LM spokeswoman said.

The Health Ministry has budget funding of €1.6 million for this purpose. Next year and the year after, €6.7 million will be allocated, explained Janka.

“Our common concern is to purchase service providers that could provide both components – social and health components. And these services would be available not only in certain municipalities but throughout Latvia, a VM spokeswoman said.

“Hospice is the end stage of palliative care. Medically no improvement is expected, the illness, unfortunately, goes on its winning lap. If the service was available throughout Latvia from October, it would be a very needed support for people,” said Ilze Zosule, spokeswoman for Hospiss.lv. The service would include mobile brigades, though many patients need a specialized building.

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