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The worst medicine in Europe. How Latvia was on a hospital bed

The worst medicine in Europe. How Latvia was on a hospital bed

09.01.2018
Tags: Latvia, Health, Medicine, EU, Europe, Doctors, Hospitals, Baltic States

In Latvia, the highest mortality from cardiovascular diseases in Europe, and patient payment for medicine is three times higher than the average for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which entered the country in 2016. At the same time, although formally free health care is kept in the republic, it takes six months and more to wait for admission without payment. Details - in the material of RIA Novosti.

"You would die two days later"

According to the OECD, in Latvia for every 100 thousand people from cardiovascular diseases 328 people die, whereas on average in the OECD countries - 112. "Most often this happens because of atherosclerosis." Blood vessels are overgrown, "explains cardiologist Andris Skride. He complains that the state is poorly financing the treatment of cardiovascular diseases at the primary stage, before the patient enters the operating table.
Latvian doctors have been sounding anxiety for many years because of the state of medicine in the country. In this regard, the death of the former head of the Ministry of Health Aris Auders, who committed suicide, became symbolic last July. This happened after the trial, which revealed that Auders, being a well-known surgeon in Latvia, demanded from the patients additional monetary gifts for operations already paid by the state sickness fund.

In similar sins accused ex-president of Latvia Valdis Zatlersa, who once worked as an orthopedic traumatologist. Another former senior official, Vilis Krishtopans, at the end of the 90-x headed the government of the country, complains: "My daughter went to the Stradin hospital in Riga, her stomach aches." Well, well, they felt it, gave medicines: go home. "She went to Valmiera to a friend at The next day, well, it hurts ... They brought her to the emergency room, appendicitis, and she was told: "You would die two days later." This is my daughter, here is a concrete example for you, and you say "they do not let me die." as they give ".


Belfry of the Dome Cathedral in Riga in Latvia

In 2017, from July to December, a strike of family doctors took place in Latvia. For the population, this was very painful, because according to the rules in force in the country to get an inspection to any medical specialist, residents can only receive a prior referral from a family doctor. One of the strikers, Ansis Dzalbs, who practices in the village of Stalgen in the Jelgava region in the south of the country, made a sad story on the air of "Latvian Radio". According to him, the region is large, the nearest hospital is in Jelgava. Therefore, instead of sending people there, Dzalbs himself has to impose a cast, and sew up wounds.

There is nobody to treat

At the same time, family doctors did not carry out their strike in full, a limited reception of patients was still conducted. The family members did not achieve full fulfillment of their demands and threatened that soon the protest action could resume.

But the main problem, on which the future of Latvian medicine depends, is whether it will be possible to reduce the departure of industry workers to other countries where higher salaries. The origins of the current situation lie still in 2009, when the state, having experienced the first impact of the economic crisis, began to urgently "cut" spending on social needs, including medicine. Since then, the qualified medical staff leaves the state frightening rates, and this puts the medical industry in a difficult situation.

In the year before last, Latvia was stirred up by an incident: law enforcement agencies began a criminal trial against a forty-five-year-old man who threatened to open fire at the building of the Ministry of Health. His daughter, who needed urgent medical care, consistently "otfutbolili" first in the Jelgava hospital, and then in the Riga clinic "Gaylezers." The latter institution had already "distinguished" shortly before: they refused to hospitalize a patient-core with pneumonia.


Patient before surgery

Stand in line or pay money

Already for several years at the beginning of each year, the same picture is observed in Latvian medical institutions: residents of the republic are hurrying to register for free medical examinations. The local press tells sad stories that people who are trying in January, for example, to get in the direction of a family doctor for a procedure of ultrasound examination (ultrasound) or a tomography that has been paid by the state, are offered to do this only in the autumn: one should wait almost a year. However, if you pay 30-40 euros, you can go through the survey in the coming days.

This situation is observed even in Riga, not to mention the small provincial cities. The member of the board of the municipal Rezekne hospital Marita Heide complains that patients wait for magnetic resonance on average for 145 days (in queue there are a thousand people or more), computed tomography (140 days), blood system studies - six months. Director Jekabpils Hospital Ivars Zvidrinsh said that many townspeople can not languish in the queues for two or three months and choose paid visits. By the way, in due time doctors of Екабпилса have put forward a noble initiative: within a week the poorest townspeople had an opportunity to be surveyed and receive consultation free of charge. It is a pity only that the services of physicians are required to people not for one week, but constantly.

Employees of the Daugavpils Regional Hospital (DRB) say that the biggest queues here were formed for angiography (cardiac studies), rehabilitation, for physiotherapists, for sonography, magnetic resonance - people sometimes have to wait four months. Also, the hospital had to declare that it no longer helps patients with diseases of the ear, throat, nose due to the lack of otolaryngologists. There were no specialists in jaw surgery, capable of providing round-the-clock help. In addition, to treat acute eye injuries is possible only during a standard working day. Therefore quite often patients in such condition should carry from Daugavpils in university clinics or other regional hospitals.

Representatives of the industry say that the problem could be solved by the arrival of doctors from other countries - in particular, doctors and nurses from the brutal crisis of Ukraine are interested in working in Latvia. However, here again a stumbling block arose: according to the Latvian laws, in order to work in local hospitals and polyclinics, it is necessary to have a certificate issued by the state agencies on the excellent knowledge of the Latvian language. This stops potential "medical guest workers".


Chamber of intensive care and intensive care

Not only Latvia is experiencing the shortage of doctors in the Baltics. In early January, students of medical schools, young doctors and other health workers held a protest action in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, "The last doctors' trip to the airport." They demanded the growth of salaries and the improvement of social guarantees. In the government, they were told that the conditions they had set were considered "unreal."

Konstantin Sevastyanov
RIA News
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