Saeima committee to propose postponing new healthcare financing system

The Saeima social and labor affairs committee on January 8 plans to discuss a proposal to postpone application of the Healthcare Financing Law, providing that all healthcare services paid for by the state would be available only to insured residents, to June 1, the committee chairman Andris Skride (For Development/For) told the press.

The Saeima committee plans to discuss the issue because the necessary IT systems are not yet running. Besides, it is still not clear how many people will be left outside the full basket of government-funded healthcare services. Skride expects that the proposal will be supported by the majority of the committee.

The initiative to postpone implementation of the law came from Latvian Medical Association's President Ilze Aizsilniece who among other problems pointed out that some of the disabled people are not included in the list of the insured persons.

As reported, due to the IT problems the National Health Service is unable to run the system of healthcare services that helps to determine the healthcare insurance status of patients.

The National Health Service decided earlier that if any technical problems occur due to which a person's insurance status is impossible to determine, the cost of any kind of healthcare services received by that person will be covered by the state, regardless of whether the person is or is not insured.

The Health Ministry promised that the system problems will be solved by February.

LETA also reported, as of 2019 patients who want to receive the full basket of government-funded healthcare services need mandatory health insurance policies.

Starting this year, all healthcare services paid for by the state would be available only to insured residents. These services will be available automatically to all employees who have been making social contributions for at least nine months, as well as residents who are included in any of the 21 social protection systems - pensioners, schoolchildren, students, and others.

In the meantime, all residents - including those who make no social contributions - will have access to the basic set of healthcare services paid for by the state: emergency medical service, visits to family physician, and state-covered medications for persons with mental problems, dependencies, diabetes, and infectious diseases such as HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis and others. Cancer treatment and cardiovascular diagnostics are also included in the basic set of healthcare services paid for by the state.

Residents who do not have state health insurance are required to make a payment of €206.40 to have access to all healthcare services paid for by the state as of January 1 this year.

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