Barrier free access to best practice

Latvia, National Coordinator, Mrs. Evija Palceja.

The presenters were Mr. Jisk Vellenga, Nrs, Margarete Karin, Mrs. Melanie Waltz and Mr. Victor Fradejas.

They said Latvia’s healthcare system was tax financed with a defined state budget for healthcare services.   There was also a private voluntary insurance scheme. Latvia had 1.969 million inhabitants, of whom 1 million lived in Riga. It had 25 general hospitals, seven mental health hospitals and eight other specialised hospitals. Public expenditure on health was 5.9% of GDP and life expectancy at birth was 74.23 years, compared to 80.6 for the OECD average.

The European Reference Network consolidated knowledge and expertise across European countries, provided barrier free access to best practices in Europe, improved registration and quality management and provided a multidisciplinary approach. This was valuable in a small country with a low number of rare diseases. It provided formalised network with experts, collaboration between centres and a standardised procedure to exchange knowledge and care.

In the future it was planned that it would give patients a better chance to receive best practice diagnosis and advice on their specific conditions and facilitate clinical studies to improve the understanding of rare diseases.

The Sustainability Index provided a strategic management tool to establish the level of sustainability and corporate responsibility. It was funded by a Latvian organisation in cooperation with the Swedish embassy. It had reduced energy consumption, led to the procurement of green products, reduced paper consumption by working more electronically, educated staff to sort waste correctly and reduce it, and involved employees in environmental protection activities.