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Latvia's healthcare system is in a serious condition

Latvia's healthcare system is in fact in a state of emergency already, the head of the Latvian Medical Association (LĀB), general practitioner Ilze Aizsilniece, said on Latvian Radio December 10.

According to her, with the rate of beds filling up with COVID-19 patients, the government should consider officially announcing an emergency in health care.

COVID-19 also affects health workers – more than 300 doctors and 87 doctors' assistants, 571 nurses and 507 nursing assistants have so far fallen ill.

Aizsilniece said out that introducing an emergency would allow to re-profile regional hospitals and hospitals treating chronic patients to COVID-19 patient hospitals and to identify how many doctors are prepared to work with COVID-19 patients.

To date, 343 medical practitioners have expressed their readiness to help COVID-19 patients.

That, in Aizsilniece's opinion, isn't very much, but “it is something”. Aizsilniece pointed out that family doctors were also exhausted, because they worked on Saturdays and Sundays, and it must be figured out how to help them.

The head of LĀB called on everyone to be responsible for themselves and society.

Health Minister Ilze Viņķele later said that an official state of emergency in healthcare would indeed likely be announced.

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