President against increasing budget deficit for healthcare spending

President Raimonds Vejonis does not support the proposal to expand the budget deficit in order to provide more funding to the health sector, reported LETA Wednesday.

Vējonis pointed out that there were attempts to increase the budget deficit last fall in order to increase defense spending. However the European Commission spoke against it.

"I do not think that [the EC's] position on healthcare might be different," Vejonis told Latvian Television Wednesday.

The president said that first it is necessary to figure out how the health sector is spending its existing funding and to get clarity about the prices of healthcare services and other expenditures.

"It is essential to analyze how correctly the existing allocations are being spent before deciding on further allocations. But I can assure you that the doctors and medical staff are very good, as I have found out myself," Vejonis, who recently underwent heart surgery, said.

Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) told journalists Monday that additional EUR 35 million might be allocated for the launch of reforms in Latvia's healthcare sector next year, but further funding plans require a more extensive analysis.

The Latvian Confederation of Free Trade Unions, meanwhile, has announced a plan to stage a major rally on May 1 to demand more funding for the health sector.

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