Provision of health services
Last update 15.01.2021
Information on the procedures and restrictions for providing and receiving health services
Given the continuously growing number of Covid-19 inpatients and the need to be able to provide emergency care to other patients at the same time, a decision has been taken to continue offering only a limited range of scheduled inpatient services in hospitals after 4 January. In addition, stricter requirements have been set for outpatient services.
It is important to emphasise that many health services will not be interrupted. Emergency medical and acute care will continue to be provided, including necessary examinations and consultations. Oncological, life-saving surgeries, as well as surgeries the cancellation of which may result in disability, will also not be cancelled.
After 4 January, hospitals must still provide the following inpatient services:
- Services to ensure continuity of therapy - chemotherapy, biological medicines, organ replacement therapy;
- Radiation therapy;
- Health care services in haematology;
- Methadone and buprenorphine replacement therapy;
- Healthcare for patients who need to continue or complete inpatient emergency treatment;
- Invasive cardiology;
- Invasive radiology.
The following services will be mandatory in hospitals:
- Acute and emergency medical care;
- Oncological, life-saving surgeries, as well as surgeries the cancellation of which may result in disability;
- Healthcare services relating to the treatment of the following groups of diseases: oncology, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, psychiatry, contagious skin diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, traumatology;
- Acute and sub-acute rehabilitation services for persons for whom the postponement of such services may lead to a risk of disablement or loss of workability, including children for whom the postponement of rehabilitation services is associated with a significant deterioration of functioning.
Outpatient health care services will also be provided in the previous amount, including specialist consultations. Hospitals are tasked to provide these services remotely as much as is possible.
Each medical institution will contact the patient individually to inform them if a service will be delayed. At the same time, these patients will not lose their place on the waiting list and will be given priority when resuming specific services. If, for example, a person, together with a family doctor, decides that a service is not needed at the moment, it is important to cancel the registration at the medical institution.
In order to receive more precise information on state-paid health care services, contact the National Health Service by phone at 80001234.
There are conditions in the health care procedures for providing and receiving services that must be observed by medical treatment institutions, physicians, and patients.
For medical institutions
- Strict epidemiological safety requirements must be met:
- ensuring a separate flow of patients and limiting the number of patients staying in the premises of the medical treatment institution at the same time
- determining an exact time of arrival for receiving health care services;
- taking disinfection measures after each patient’s visit;
- providing services only if personal protective equipment is used both by medical practitioners and patients. If the patient does not have his/her own mask, the medical institution must provide it by giving it to the patient free of charge or by giving him/her the opportunity to purchase it.
- The treating physician shall decide whether the patient needs to be tested for Covid-19 before receiving the scheduled service.
- For elective surgeries and invasive procedures, the treating physician or GP must refer the patient for being tested for Covid-19 and the procedure must only be performed in the event of the patient’s testing negative. The doctor must inform the patient about the need to be tested for Covid-19 in a timely manner.
- The list of cases where the state will pay for a GP’s visit to the patient's home has been extended: if the patient is experiencing exacerbation of a chronic illness, but the SEMS (NMPD) has not deemed the situation to be life-threatening.
- Wherever possible, consultations must be provided remotely.
- The patient does not have to pay for the remote consultation.
- Patients should discuss with their GP or treating physician which healthcare services are necessary at the moment, especially for persons over 60 years of age and for immunocompromised individuals, as these persons may be severely affected by the Covid-19 virus.
- Before going to see a doctor, they must be contacted beforehand and the time of the visit must be agreed upon. Going to see a doctor without an appointment is forbidden.
- In the medical institution:
- Keep a distance of 2 meters from other people wherever possible.
- Disinfect your hands regularly.
- Use a face mask. The patient may arrive to the medical institution with his/her own face mask, including a mask made of fabric. If the patient does not have his/her own mask, the medical institution must provide it by giving it to the patient free of charge or by giving him/her the opportunity to purchase it.
- Patient expenses related to Covid-19 treatment will be paid by the state (transfer, hospital time, treatment, etc.).
Who to turn to?
- In order to receive more precise information on state-paid health care services, contact the National Health Service by phone 80001234 or search for information on the www.rindapiearsta.lv website.
- In cases when medical practitioners or medical institutions refuse to register patients for state-paid services, or if patients need more precise information on state-paid health care services, people are invited to call the toll-free NHS client service number 80001234 or write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In cases of deteriorating health, contact your GP or treating physician in order to decide on your next actions, or, in life-threatening situations, call the State Emergency Medical Service on 113.
- If your GP is unavailable, or if health problems appear outside your doctor's working hours, you can receive consultations on your health condition and the necessary health care services by calling the general 24-hour GP consultation number, 66016001, or by making an appointment with an on-call doctor.
The list of medical institutions that provide outpatient health care services to Covid-19 patients and their contact persons is available on the website of the National Health Service website in the section “Procedures for Receiving Medical Services”. The list of institutions is subject to change, please follow the current information on the National Health Service website.