Discussion on a more sustainable future for the health system revealed not only problems but also opportunities

  • 2022-09-26

A discussion between representatives of the public and private sectors on the vision of a sustainable health system shed light on key areas with a significant impact on patient outcomes that require very close inter-institutional cooperation. The discussion was initiated by global pharmaceuticals leader Roche during a visit of Roche Chairman Dr Christoph Franz to Lithuania.  

While Lithuania is taking measures to improve access to healthcare services, the overall state of people’s health in the country remains among the worst in the European Union. According to Živilė Gudlevičienė, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Healthcare and People with Disabilities, the government currently has an ambitious health programme which aims to provide every patient with personalised care in a timely manner and involve all social partners in its design and delivery.

The discussion looked at key success factors and challenges for the implementation of personalised medicine, the vision for private-public cooperation, and investment opportunities. It gave particular attention to the quality of health data and its use for further progress.

Around the world, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, researchers and healthcare regulators are continually producing and using large amounts of healthcare data that is extremely valuable for saving patients’ lives.

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr Birutė Brasiūnienė, Head of the Medical Oncology Department at Lithuania’s National Cancer Institute, good data governance is the key to value-based healthcare.

“Advances in science force us to re-examine our established practices every day. The abundance of innovations and data offer increasing hope to both doctors and patients. But it is important that new technologies be accessible, and that health data be systematically collected and analysed. That would make it possible to create a more efficient health system, to personalise treatment, and to achieve better treatment outcomes,” Dr Brasiūnienė said.

In the words of Stefano Volonté, the General Manager of Roche Lietuva, discussions like this are a first step to more sustainable inter-institutional cooperation, which is vital to achieving change in the health system to make it more patient focused.  

“The COVID pandemic clearly demonstrated the value of public-private partnership for making quick and effective decisions and finding innovative solutions. There we have a real example of how by working together we can make a difference. Recall how diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines were developed, approved and made available in record time during the pandemic. We have that experience, so all we need is the will and the decision to continue those good practices which can directly benefit Lithuanian patients,” Stefano Volonté said.

Others who shared insights during the discussion of the healthcare system’s key challenges and the best ways to address them included: Prof. Dr Feliksas Jankevičius, Director General of  Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos; Prof. Dr Jelena Čelutkienė, President of the Lithuanian Society of Cardiology; Neringa Čiakienė, Director of the Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition (POLA); Vida Staskonienė, Head of the Investment Development Department at Invest Lithuania; Lithuanian Free Market Institute President Elena Leontjeva; Roche Chairman of the Board Dr Christoph Franz; and Roche Diagnostics Baltics Country Manager Dalimil Zurek.