On Thursday, February 2, Health Minister Līga MenĆgelsone met with representatives of the Association of Latvian Rehabilitation Professional Organizations (LRPOA) to discuss development issues in the rehabilitation industry.
The Minister of Health Līga Menľelsone emphasized that rehabilitation is an integral part of the treatment process, not a bonus. Therefore, there should be clarity before the patient is discharged from the hospital about where and how the necessary rehabilitation will be provided. Solving the issue is possible only through cooperation with the Ministry of Welfare and local government social services.
The representatives of LRPOA also highlighted the management of rehabilitation between several sectors: health, welfare, education, as well as municipalities. As a result of insufficient coordination of the patient’s health care and the succession and availability of services, the patients’ opportunities to receive the necessary rehabilitation in time are unequal. Therefore, recovery of the quality of life is affected not only by the severity of the disease or injury, but also by other factors.
The meeting also highlighted the issue of revising the payment tariffs for rehabilitation services, taking into account their inconsistency with the increased costs. Also, a proposal was made to develop a medical rehabilitation service at home, not guided only by the patient’s diagnosis, but based on the patient’s needs. Currently, medical rehabilitation services at home are only available for stroke patients and patients with spinal cord injury.
In Latvia, despite the recent expansion of the network of rehabilitation services, the availability of rehabilitation services is still insufficient and the situation is different in the regions. Therefore, in order to improve the situation, it is necessary to increase both the number of rehabilitation providers by training new specialists and involve them already at the level of primary care.