Health Minister hopes to find funds in unused heating aid

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Part of the additional EUR 140 million needed for the health sector could be reallocated from the surplus of the heating aid program, the Minister for Health, Līga Meņģelsone, told Latvian Television on May 30.

Menģelsone acknowledged that for ministries to find funds in their budgets that could be reallocated to the health sector is difficult, because “it is not like anyone holds reserve funds”. But the subject of negotiations could be national budget programs whose implementation can be postponed for next year.

“For example, the heating program was not used, and there is at least €100 million, it would then be a matter of how we can reallocate them rationally to health,” the minister said.

The Ministry of Health has also set up a “detailed table where each euro will go – for access to health services, family doctors, hospitals, patients, queue reduction”.

“This [funding] is not for medical workers' salaries, but the amount needed for patients,” said Meņģelsone.

Asked how much additional funding is needed for the health sector as a whole, Menģelsone replied: “At the moment, by putting together both compensated medicines and ambulatory services and the strengthening of fixed rates, it is 140 million. […] After my talks with both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, I see that they absolutely understand the situation that this money is needed.”

Previously, the Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš demanded reforms, indicating that it is not possible to give additional money to the health sector otherwise. This will be discussed in the government on May 30.

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