Ongoing trouble with Latvia's 'e-health' system

The 'e-health' project may lose EU funding granted to it as it may not be implemented as per the project requirements by the deadline of March 2021.

This was what the Finance Ministry has told the Saeima Social and Labor Affairs Committee.

'e-health' is a project worth €3.33 million. The Finance Ministry now thinks it is at risk of losing funding as the currently planned usage volume does not meet the requirements. 

Currently the system is used for writing prescriptions and granting sick leaves, while the EU project requires that it should also support interactive doctor's appointments, registering newborns, finding out one's place in the queue to receive state-funded healthcare, and other services. 

Furthermore, it has emerged the system is still slow and even may have been compromised since it was made mandatory on January 1, 2018.

The e-health system was “disrupted” by malicious hackers on January 11, MP Aija Barča, chairwoman of the Saeima Social and Labor Affairs Committee, told Latvian Radio January 16.

Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, the acting Health Minister while Anda Čakša is on maternity leave, appearing on Latvian Television on January 16 confirmed that there are suspicions of a disruption attempt but that no data have been compromised. 

Likewise, Čakša's adviser for the e-health project Ilze Abolina told members of the Saeima Social and Labor Affairs Committee that the system has not been hacked and no data were stolen. 

As reported, the electronic healthcare system ran up against hurdles as doctors were unable to fill out sick leaves and prescriptions on the first days of its operation.

They are still facing trouble using the system when it is busy on Friday and Monday. 

€15 million has been invested into creating the system.

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