Hospice care could soon be state-funded in Latvia

On Thursday, May 25, the Saeima conceptually supported amendments to the Law on Medical Treatment and the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance, which provide for improved access to palliative care and determine that hospice service would be provided from State budget resources.

The amendment clarifies that palliative care is intended to be provided to persons with predicted limited survival for a period of not more than half a year.

The Social Services and Social Assistance Law provides that the State provides social care and psychosocial rehabilitation to adults who, by decision of physicians, have a palliative care requirement and have an expected survival of up to six months.

It is also planned to provide that the money available in the State budget would provide psychosocial rehabilitation for persons living in the household.

The conditions and procedures for the type, volume, content, receipt, granting, financing, termination, and termination of the service shall be determined by the Cabinet.

Interbranch palliative care would include building mobile teams of palliative care professionals that would provide palliative care 24/7, in line with the individual needs of each palliative care patient. In addition to healthcare professionals, it is intended to include social workers, social carers, and psychosocial support specialists in the care process.

The additional funding needed in the state budget for 2024 would be around EUR 4.9 million, around EUR 5.2 million in 2025, and around EUR 5.5 million in 2026.

For the law amendments to enter into force, they still need to be viewed by the Saeima in two readings.

As reported earlier, 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.

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