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President of Latvia at WHO meeting states Patient's fees are unreasonably high

State President Egils Levits during a meeting at WHO office in Latvia

Riga, Oct 17 (UITV): It is necessary to reduce patient fees, which are unacceptably high in Latvia, said State President Egils Levits during his meeting with the head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) office in Latvia Uldis Mitenbergs.

As reported by the State President’s Chancellery, during the meeting the two sides discussed the organization’s vision for the financing of healthcare in the country and COVID-19 restrictive measures in Latvia and elsewhere in the world.

After discussing the healthcare financing policy in Latvia, state-provided health services for residents and the possible development scenarios, the president stressed that healthcare should be made accessible to everyone, because this model is in accordance with the Constitution.

Mitenbergs explained the position WHO has on this matter, adding that it is important to ensure all residents have equal access to healthcare regardless of people’s tax contributions, because otherwise this does not meet the principle of a sustainable country.

Mitenbergs referenced the recommendations from WHO on allocating at least 12% of general government expenditures to healthcare, because it is important to enhance the healthcare system so that the country is prepared for emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The representative of the World Health Organization in Latvia welcomed the fact that the government has outlined 13% in the 2021 state budget plan.

Touching on the topic of COVID-19, Mitenbergs declared the measures taken by Latvia’s government to limit the spread of the virus as balanced, adding that he is happy the government makes decisions based on opinions of experts. Mitenbergs also explained that the measures recommended by WHO to limit the spread of COVID-19 are all gradual, and the organization invites countries to continue maintaining them this way to avoid a full blockade, which would otherwise result in economic and psycho-economic consequences. Latvia’s president stressed that in spring Latvia managed to successfully limit the virus – society demonstrated a high level of discipline, which bore fruits – the national economy did not suffer much. Levits also said it is the government’s duty to develop scenarios based on recommendations from epidemiologists and restrictions based on indexes of the spread of the disease, as well as keep society informed, because people have to plan their activities. Mitenbergs also said the government needs to better explain measures in a way society would understand and support.

Because Mitenbergs was elected as the head of WHO office in Latvia relatively recently – on 1 September – Latvia’s President wished him success in this post, adding he expects active participation in topics dealing with healthcare in the country, as reported by the State President’s Chancellery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - (News Source Courtesy- bnn-news.com)