Hospice care at home might start on January 1 in Latvia

Palliative care services at the patient's home are still not in place. Home care options for dying patients across the country had to be provided as early as October 1, but the introduction of services is delayed and is now scheduled to be provided from January 1, Latvian Radio reported Monday.

Home care for hospice patients was scheduled to be rolled out this October in the form of mobile teams providing palliative care at the patient's residence. In August, the Ministry of Health launched a tender for the provision of this service and 10 applicants applied for it, and 4 of those working in different regions were selected, but this was appealed and the Procurement Monitoring Bureau also decided to cancel the selection result and consequently contracting with the service providers already selected was also suspended.

The National Health Service (NVD) relaunched the competition, with an expanded pool of applicants in each region to select mobile teams for palliative care.

“Tenderers may submit their tender electronically by December 7 of this year. We plan to launch the service from January 1 and in order to receive the service, patients must have a decision from the doctors' consortium that the patient's survival is up to 6 months,” the NVD spokeswoman Jūlija Voropajeva said.

The service aims to alleviate suffering for patients at the end of life. This will include both social care and the provision of technical aids, the care of an occupational therapist, a medical care plan, regular visits and services to the patient at home, and the provision of specialized transport to medical institutions.

The service also provides advice to the patient and their loved ones on a day-to-day basis, including holidays and public holidays, psycho-social support, and coaching of loved ones on care issues.

So far, palliative care at home has been implemented in the form of pilot projects and only in selected regions. There are parallel operations at hospitals in this care unit where a patient is paid for by the state for up to 10 days, but care is often needed longer.

An estimated 2,800 patients will receive the new service a year and the funding for it is around 6.7 million euros a year.


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