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State health insurance system could be put into operation in a month

RIGA – The system that will provide medics with information on whether the patient has state health insurance might be up an running in a week, but the whole model could be put into operation in about a month, said Health Minister Anda Caksa (Greens/Farmer) after the Saeima inquiry committee meeting on Wednesday.

The minister explained that in a week residents should be able to see their health insurance status in the system, but in a month IT experts expect the system to be working as needed.

Anda Caksa said that the IT system was delivered for tests in line with the timetable on December 22, 2019. However, tests could not be performed using real data because of the law on personal data.

Edzus Zeiris, deputy director of ZZ Dats company who developed the software, told LETA that the National Health Service is responsible for installation of the software.

As reported, due to the IT infrastructure problems, the National Health Service was unable to run the system of healthcare services that helps to determine the healthcare insurance status of patients starting from January 1.

The National Health Service released a statement on December 31 that it has discovered errors in the system, and is working on them.

Should there be any trouble with determining the insurance status of a person, the healthcare institution being visited by the person will provide the required healthcare services according to the current procedure, that is, irrespective of whether the person is insured or not.

As of 2019 patients who want to receive the full basket of government-funded healthcare services will need mandatory health insurance policies.

Starting this year, all healthcare services paid for by the state would be available only to insured residents. These services will be available automatically to all employees who have been making social contributions for at least nine months, as well as residents who are included in any of the 21 social protection systems - pensioners, schoolchildren, students, and others.

In the meantime, all residents - including those who make no social contributions - will have access to the basic set of healthcare services paid for by the state: emergency medical service, visits to family physician, and state-covered medications for persons with mental problems, dependencies, diabetes, and infectious diseases such as HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis and others. Cancer treatment and cardiovascular diagnostics are also included in the basic set of healthcare services paid for by the state.

Residents who do not have state health insurance are required to make a payment of EUR 206.40 to have access to all healthcare services paid for by the state as of January 1 this year.

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