AmCham offers healthcare spending advice to government

The influential American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (AmCham) has released what it calls a "position statement" calling for a "sustainable, efficient and equitable healthcare financing model" in Latvia.

In the position statement, AmCham suggests healthcare spending should be aligned to the EU average.

"OECD data shows that increase in health spending explained 46% of male and 39% of female gains in life expectancy at birth. No other factor – GDP, education, pollution, or lifestyle characteristics – was shown to play a larger role in lengthening lives than health expenditure. Recent research in Estonia shows, that investing one euro in healthcare produces a return of 2.4 euros and each person would gain an average of 28 days of healthy life per year," AmCham said.

According to AmCham President and Chairman of the Board John Tully: “A healthy society is crucial for the future of Latvia. It is also crucial in securing investment and to ensure further economic growth. Investments in people are vital to their wellbeing contributing to a more resilient society. Sustainable and efficient financing for health will ensure a healthier population and better patient outcomes and the growing prosperity of Latvians.”

To ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable healthcare financing, as a prerequisite for human capital development, AmCham calls policymakers to significantly increase the healthcare budget to reach the current EU average by 2027 for public investment in health - 8% of GDP (in Latvia it was 4% of GDP in 2020). AmCham also calls for a balanced healthcare budget to ensure growth of out-patient therapies (reimbursable medication) in comparison with a total budget increase, providing services to more than 700,000 Latvians annually.

"AmCham believes that a sustainable, efficient and equitable healthcare financing  will ensure the preservation of the health of the population, thus promoting employment and economic competitiveness of Latvia," the organization said.

The AmCham position paper is available here:  https://www.amcham.lv/data/Advocacy/amcham-position-2022.pdf

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