Head of major hospital resigns

The head of Latvia's largest hospital resigned on Wednesday together with a board member.

Anita Slokenberga, board chairwoman at the Riga Austrumu Clinical University Hospital, as well as board member Viesturs Boka resigned on their own accord, reported LTV.

"I don't see a way of leading the hospital due to the current attitude by the Health Ministry," Slokenberga told Latvian Radio.

"I have pointed out a number of times that the situation in university hospitals is critical and that their continued existence, it could be said, is under threat," she said.

However Health Minister Anda Čakša on Wednesday said that the news is no surprise as the State Audit Office had just sent the ministry a report over funding mismanagement at the hospital.

"On yesterday afternoon we received an Audit Office statement, titled conspiciously 'Is it possible to improve the efficiency of the Austrumu Hospital,'" said Čakša.

"It's clear that funding has, in many ways, been used inefficiently," said Čakša.

"At a time when there's a lack of healthcare funding it's important for processes to be transparent and well-organized [..] so that patients patients could get to specialist and cut waiting times," said Čakša.

Artūrs Bērziņš and Kaspars Plūme remain as board members. An open competition will be held soon to fill the vacancies.

The Austrumu Clinical University Hospital in Rīga serves more than 92,000 inpatients and 490,000 outpatients a year, the hospital said in 2016.

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