The overload of healthcare workers in Latvia because of the spread of COVID-19 is obvious, the chairman of Latvian Hospital Association (LHA) Jevgenijs Kalejs says.
Kalejs claims the rapid spread of COVID-19 has caused workload to increase for all healthcare workers, adding that the state has not considered full remuneration of increased workload.
The representatives of hospitals in Latvia estimated that currently nearly half of hospitals’ available COVID-19 capacity had been filled so far. In multiple locations, however, such as Daugavpils, this resource has almost run out.
As for changes in COVID-19 testing with priority put on people with prescription from family doctors, Kalejs noted this change will help increase the flow of patients to specialists. This means increasing the risk of COVID-19 spreading among them.
The representative of the association stresses that insufficient financing in wages causes people’s motivation to work in hospitals to go down. According to him, elsewhere in Europe healthcare workers’ motivation is higher – the association regularly receives help requests from different countries (most often from Italy and Spain) to assist doctors. In such cases healthcare workers are offered much higher wage than the one paid in Latvia.
Kalejs also outlined that in Lithuania hospitals had already reoriented their efforts to focus more or less only on COVID-19 patients and people in urgent need of medical assistance.
According to data from Latvia’s National Health Service, on October 22 there were 105 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. Healthcare Minister Ilze Vinkele has said that 250 beds for COVID-19 patients is the threshold at which there is no need to reorganize the entire healthcare sector. (BNN/Business World Magazine)