Latvia to request international help in healthcare

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Latvia will request support from the European Union (EU) and international assistance for the provision of equipment and devices, including 120 lung ventilators, to cope with the healthcare crisis in pandemic conditions, the government decided October 26.

The needed equipment also includes 14 portable x-rays, 363 vital sign monitors, 32 vital sign monitoring stations, 22 mobile ultrasound devices, 194 flowmeters, and other devices.

The draft orders provide that the Ministry of Health would be responsible for coordination.

The draft order annotation prepared by the Ministry of Health explains that, within the framework of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), countries have the possibility to use UCPM to ensure the involvement of civil protection resources from other EU Member States to mitigate the consequences of serious crises.

Such an assistance mechanism will complement the crisis-stricken country's response capacity. UCPM facilitates faster and more efficient operational cooperation between national civil protection services.

Given that Latvia is also facing a human resources problem during the crisis, it is planned to request EU support to provide additional doctors and medical personnel teams in order to expand the capacity to treat Covid-19 patients.

The amount of expenditure may vary depending on the results of public procurement. However, the Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts said that if a country decides to provide free assistance to Latvia, funds will therefore not be requested.

Pavļuts said at a press conference after the government meeting that the three countries had informally confirmed their readiness to help and engage, however, he did not specify which countries they were, indicating that it would be made known after an official request for assistance and obtaining an attestation accordingly.


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