Can people afford to pay for health care? New evidence on financial protection in Latvia (2018)

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English

By Maris Taube, Edmunds Vaskis, Oksana Nesterenko
2018, xii+ 75 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 5329 7
This publication is only available online.

This review is part of a series of country-based studies generating new evidence on financial protection in European health systems. Financial protection is central to universal health coverage and a core dimension of health system performance.

Financial protection is weaker in Latvia than in many other European Union (EU) countries. Latvia’s health system relies heavily on out-of-pocket payments. The share of out-of-pocket payments in total health spending is consistently among the highest in the EU.

Stronger financial protection will require additional public investment in the health system. Latvia’s public spending on health is lower than it can afford, given its gross domestic product. Any increase in public spending should be used to expand National Health Service coverage and prioritize stronger protection for poor adults and regular users of health care.