Pharmaceutical Policy and the Effects of the Economic Crisis: Latvia
(2011; 3 pages)


The Latvian health care system has undergone a remarkable transformation in the years since independence and is now in the process of consolidating new structures and institutional arrangements. The State has abolished the highly centralised system that characterised the Soviet period. It has focused on the decentralisation of health care delivery, administration and financing, full or partial privatisation of provider institutions and the establishment of independent primary care practices. All of this has resulted in a wide variety of legal forms of health care providers and institutions. While these reforms were taking place, Latvia also became affected in 2008 by the international economic crisis. The Latvian government responded by cutting the State budget. These decisions were set against a decrease in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 19% in 2009. Tax revenues also decreased. The government decided that the most prudent remedy was to reduce public expenditure together with the implementation of structural reforms...

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