RIGA - In order to talk to the European Commission about increasing healthcare funding more than permitted according to the fiscal discipline rules, Latvia must propose relevant reforms first, Saeima Budget and Finance Committee chairman Janis Reirs (New Unity) told LETA.
Latvian Medical Association's president Ilze Aizsilniece and Latvian Health and Social Care Workers Union's head Valdis Keris recently said that Latvia had to implement recommendations of the Commission, the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO) on increasing funding for healthcare.
Reirs commented to LETA that the Commission had different departments and there were contradictions between those Commission representatives who demand that fiscal discipline be maintained and those who call for additional funding for certain areas.
Those departments of the Commission or WHO that call for allocating additional funds, contrary to Latvia's obligations, do not bear direct responsibility for their recommendations. On the other hand, Latvia must comply with the fiscal discipline rules for the eurozone, emphasized Reirs.
As for the necessary reforms that Latvia is supposed to discuss with the Commission, Reirs said that the reforms should be proposed by the Health Ministry. Financing for healthcare will also be discussed by the ruling coalition and the Finance Ministry's task force on tax policy this year.
Reirs reminded that then Health Minister, now Minister of Education and Science Anda Caksa (New Unity) proposed several years ago to link the healthcare insurance system to residents' tax payments.