Representatives of the Ministry of Health of Latvia meet with the Association of Oncology Patient Organizations

On Tuesday, January 24, experts from the Ministry of Health met with the Association of Oncology Patient Organizations of Latvia “Onkoalianse” to update questions about the treatment and care of oncology patients.

The field of oncology is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Health, and in 2023 it is planned to allocate an additional 30 million euros to it, which, according to the plan for the improvement of health care services in the field of oncology for 2022-2024, is planned to be directed both to the payment of compensable medicines and the availability of diagnostics and treatment for improvement, including the indexation of healthcare service tariffs.

“Each meeting with the patients’ association is a benefit in the implementation of health policy and solving everyday issues, because our goal is one – a healthy person and a healthy society. “Onkoalianse” is a knowledgeable and cooperative, welcoming organization that is actively involved in solving patients’ health issues, and this is very important for creating our strategies and searching for the best solutions,” emphasized Ilze Ortveina, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Health.

The Association of Latvian Oncological Patients’ Organizations brought up questions about the funding and measures of the oncology plan, inviting them to think about the future years as well; supplementing the drug list with new drugs; data collection and availability both for treatment purposes and for analysis, including the quality of examinations; on the availability of “green” and “yellow corridors” and examinations; about cancer screenings and the effectiveness of campaigns, etc. The participants of the conversation emphasized that it would be important for patients to know the “rules of the game” for the distribution of funding in the field of oncology, which directly apply to publicly paid examinations, treatment and reimbursable drugs.

“When developing plans for the development of the field of oncology for the following years, we will take as a basis the activities currently included in the plan for 2022-2024, which will be supplemented. We will also involve patient organizations in the development of the action plan. Oncology is a priority of the Ministry of Health, and we will continue to improve the treatment and care of patients in the coming years,” said Sanita Janka, director of the Department of Health Care.

Health care services improvement plan in the field of oncology 2022-2024. for the year envisages the reduction of risk factors for the spread of cancer, the improvement of prevention, as well as the availability of various types of treatment and the care of cancer patients. However, the funding is not sufficient for the implementation of all the measures included in the plan.

“Onkoalianse” is an association of Latvian oncology patient organizations that unites patient organizations of various types of cancer for targeted implementation of evidence-based patient advocacy. At the Ministry of Health, when Minister Līga Menľelson began her work, several meetings with representatives of non-governmental and industry professional organizations have already taken place, which are planned in the future in order to involve all interested parties in the development of industry policy planning documents.

The information was prepared by: Press Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Barbara Ālīte

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