Interesting facts about healthcare in Latvia

August 10, 2022
healthcare in Latvia

Eternity Life Forum will be held in the capital of Latvia, Riga. Therefore, in this article we have considered some aspects of the healthcare in Latvia.

In accordance with indicators, society’s health profile in Latvia has become much weaker when compared to peer countries. This small country recorded the highest rates of cases of hepatitis C in Europe. Previous years Latvia entered top three European leaders in terms of obesity among adults – 21% of people who suffer from this problem are recorded here.

Latvia’s spending on health care is less than similar states. Latvia spent less than 6% of its GDP, which is just over 1,000 euros per person. This is much less than the EU average, where GDP expenditure is almost 10%. Such statistics show that there are still problems in financing this sector in Latvia.

Bed densities in clinical establishments show this problematic condition. In 2020, there were 3572 doctors and 6700 beds per 1,000 people in the country. Overweight and alcoholism are the main reasons why the percentage of healthy people there is deteriorating. On average, one resident of the country drinks almost 11 liters of alcohol per year. Also, one-fifth of Latvian adults drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, with male residents drinking more than women. Also, 23% of adult Latvians smoked cigarettes every day. These figures are higher than the European average by 4%. Health care in Latvia has gone through a lot of reforms since the state became independent in 1991. Then, a National Health Authority type system was recognized in Latvia. This service oversees health policies implementation, and appropriate local Ministry creates basis and controls this system. Although entire population is covered by this system, patients still pay subscription fees and have other rather high cure costs.

Several years ago, the state won the second position among the EU countries in terms of the ratio of personal spending by households to spending on health care, which amounted to almost 40%.

The probability that a resident of Latvia will have poor health depends entirely on his economic and social status. As EU Health Association says, more than 3% of Latvian have asthma. People having poorer education and minimum incomes are the most susceptible to diseases.

Aspirations and future plans

Inequality can be easily determined in perception of health status in this state. About only 30% of the country’s residents who have a small family income report good health, in contrast to 70% of locals having a good financial situation.

In much the same way, admission to health care varies regarding person’s location. It is much more complicated for people living in countryside to get quality medical care due to the lack of specialized doctors in area. Based on this data, it becomes clear Latvian health sector demands to be hugely changed in order to reduce its indicators in state. Country’s health care costs are critically low compared to EU states, and obesity, smoking and alcohol abuse speak of an urgent need to normalize health system. Latvia should strive to provide equal level of medical services regardless of country areas.

Eternity Life Forum will be an important event for the development of healthcare both in Latvia and around the world.

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Nov 11, 2022