Kariņš proposes to reduce the number of hospitals in Latvia

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When talking about arranging and reducing the number of schools in the country, the number of hospitals should also be mentioned, said the Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) in an interview on Latvian Television on July 4. 

Commenting on the verdict of the State Audit Office on the shortage of medical personnel, which was covered in yesterday's LSM article, Kariņš said that one thing is the lack of funding in the system as a whole, and the other is that the money is not always used effectively. “If we can talk about the number of school, we should also be talking about the number of hospitals.

We have almost twice as many hospitals as we need,” said Kariņš.

He admitted that there was a serious “unwillingness to change something” on the municipal level as well as on the part of the hospitals. There are institutions which "are unable to perform their function", said the Prime Minister, but refused to clarify which hospitals he had in mind. 

“We have added 87 million euros to the wages of medical practitioners this year. I don't understand – have the medics received it or not? [The money] has safely entered the system, but has it reached them? Nurses included. It seems to me that their wages are catastrophically low. But that's largely the responsibility of hospitals, because the state isn't pay ingthe nurses, it pays the hospitals,” said Kariņš.

The Prime Minister is waiting for the Minister of Health Ilze Viņķle (Development/For) to provide a vision of the future of the hospital network. Moreover, changes in this area could correspond to the planned regional reform.

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