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Residents in Latvia and Lithuania worried the most about health; less in Estonia

According to data from the latest ERGO Security Index, Estonian residents, as opposed to Latvian and Lithuanian residents, are less worried about health than their neighbours.

Estonia is the only Baltic State residents of which evaluated their mood in health-related matters seven points higher than they did in 2015 study. On a scale of -100 to +100, Estonians put this aspect at -7, Latvians gave a -34 and Lithuanian gave -31 points.

In general, of all the aspects covered by ERGO Security Index, residents of all Baltic States remain concerned the most about health.

All three countries gave the lowest score in this area. ERGO board member in Baltic States Ingrida Kirse comments: «It is likely the root cause of this is the growing concern of Latvian and Lithuanian residents about healthcare and their general dissatisfaction with their respective countries’ healthcare system.»

«Estonian residents participate in financing of medical services much less often than residents in Latvia and Lithuania. Residents in Latvia cover the largest portion of medical expenses on our own or use private health insurance. The general distrust of Latvian and Lithuanian residents towards their existing healthcare system is proven by the fact that demand for private health insurance in all Baltic States continues to increase,» Kirse comments.

She continues: «People need certainty that medical services will be available should an emergency appear. This is why often people take matters into their own hands.»

One-third of Latvian residents are worried they would not be able to pay for treatment if they get sick. 74% are worried about not receiving appropriate treatment in the event of a serious illness. Concerns about this matter have remained largely unchanged over the years: 72% in 2014 and 75% in 2015.

Another measurement by ERGO Security Index shows that 75% of Latvian residents are worried about the quality of medical services. The general opinion on this matter also remains largely unchanged: 74% in 2014 and 2015.

«Reasons for that are complex and hide in disarray in the current system – unchanged and chaotic lack of funding, endless queues, changing information about state-funded services and lack of fundamental changes. At the same time, people face expensive medical services they have to cover from their own pocket,» says Kirse.

400,000 residents in Latvia have health insurance. Insurance is provided to most of them by employers fully or partially. In 2016, Latvian residents were paid a total of EUR 55.8 million in insurance claims, which is 11.6% more than 2015.


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