Health Ministry looks at forming state-backed "strategically important regional hospitals"

Plans to reform the health service to improve its efficiency and effectiveness might include the establishment of a series of "strategically important regional hospitals" according to a Health Ministry briefing presented by the minister, Ilze Viņķele.

The Ministry, in cooperation with the subordinate institutions, has already started work on ensuring the extent and availability of services in hospitals. According to the information report, the Ministry will submit proposals for regulatory changes by the end of the year on the basis of data on the number of hospital patients and the quality of care available that is currently being analyzed. As a result of the restructuring of hospitals, available funding will primarily be channeled to outpatient services in the regions.

The Ministry of Health also plans to launch a discussion with hospitals and their stakeholders, the municipalities, on necessary changes to the operation of hospitals, including the possible acquisition of state ownership in strategically important hospitals in the regions.

"This set of measures will enable healthcare facilities to plan the necessary infrastructure and human resources more effectively, ensuring equitable access to and quality of services, while developing sustainable and viable healthcare delivery," said a Health Ministry outline of the plan.

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