Latvian health sector needs 'evolution, not revolution': minister

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Looking ahead, the Latvian health system 'does not need a revolution, it needs a smart, well, and regularly funded evolution', Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts said in the Latvian Television morning broadcast on May 30.

In recent years, the biggest challenge in Latvia's health system has been the Covid pandemic, but 'we have come out stronger', said Pavļuts.

“Succeeded in significantly increasing medical salaries, strengthening hospital infrastructure. All big hospitals are rapidly developing, construction work is ongoing. Despite the pandemic, the next year or two will be very difficult precisely because of the war [in Ukraine].”

Therefore, the healthcare system needed smart and well-funded development, said Pavļuts

“First of all, services must be more accessible, in terms of queues and available medicine [..] Secondly, it is very important that [..] health care becomes more human, focused on the interaction of people – patients, people – doctors, their interaction, the protection of patients' rights. Of course, there is a huge digitalization in the background,” the Minister said.

Pavļuts said that the funding needed to develop the healthcare system is very high, but the state “cannot surprise anyone” by saying that there is a need for funding for healthcare.

"It's done by all serious countries, funding is rising, health-care spending is rising. [..] No country has easy plans at the moment for budgeting for the next few years, we are absolutely not unique in this respect. Of course, especially during the pre-election, the [budget] discussions will be very tough," said Pavļuts.


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