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Investment in health is essential

Jun 10, 2014
During its annual High Council meeting with the government, the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia (FICIL) submitted a position paper on the development of the health care system in Latvia calling to improve public health indicators. In order to achieve that a more robust planning and management of public investment is needed. Among the recommendations are:

1) Implementing a clear and transparent long term strategy and action plan for the development of the health system;
2) Continue reforming and increase efficiency gains in the hospital sector;
3) Defining and executing realistic access to, and quality standards for health services;
4) Ensuring effective inter-sector co-operation to improve the health indicators and productivity of the existing and future workforce.

In 2013, FICIL stressed the negative link between the required sustainable growth of productivity in the Latvian economy and the health of the workforce. The overall poor health of the population and unequal access to healthcare in the context of an ageing society is increasingly a barrier to growth and competitiveness. The incidence and dynamics of staff absenteeism with sickness and first-time disability, both at a high cost to businesses and the Latvian economy, are amongst the most direct indicators. In 2012, the State Social Security Agency reported 8 million registered days of sick leave. This may discourage potential employers who are considering to invest in Latvia.

FICIL clearly recognizes the future demographic challenges for Latvia. According to estimates, Latvia will have one of the highest proportions of elderly population as well as a high social dependency rate. The sustainability of the social security system and the success of pensionē system will very much depend on the health of the aging workforce.

To read the entire position paper click here.

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