Government approves new healthcare funding model

On Tuesday the Latvian government approved the concept for the healthcare funding reform that will largely see the current system remain in place. 

The healthcare financing model approved by the government provides for universal access to healthcare services for all taxpayers in Latvia.

The cost of healthcare services will be covered by increasing state budget funds that go to healthcare. Latvians will not have to make any additional payments under the new model.

In effect, the current healthcare financing model will remain in place, with the difference that government contracts will include quality criteria that healthcare facilities will have to abide to; furthermore care facilities will have to ensure access to a set of services, which will be described in the new model in greater detail, the Health Ministry said.

The concept of the new model (Latvian) proposes several solutions for securing healthcare funding - increasing the income tax, the value-added tax, or the social security tax.

In addition to the funding planned to be allotted by the state budget, in 2018 more than €219m have to be found for the new funding model, while the figure is €407m for 2019 and €462m for 2020. 

Part of the funds could be acquired by raising the budget deficit.

Discussions about funding sources will continue until April 1, 2017. The old new model is to be rolled in starting 2018.

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