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Medical association: someone should take responsibility for the poorly-made e-health system

Latvian Medial Association (LMA) proposes forming a parliamentary investigative committee to evaluate the failed introduction of the e-health system and identify those responsible for its failure. In an open letter to Saeima’s Social and Employment Matters Committee chairperson Aija Barča and Health sub-committee chairman Romualds Ražuks, LMA points to a number of flaws associated with the development process and difficulties with this system’s introduction.

The association notes that at least the bare minimum of the e-health system was supposed to come online 1 January. This includes tools for issue of sick leave certificates and prescriptions. Expensive advertisements posted on mass media websites, praising e-health system, are the only functioning part of the system, the association notes.

At the same time, representatives note that the actual e-health system is unreliable at best – experts report long periods of down time for doctors, pharmacies and patients every day. Patients and doctors spend an enormous amount of time to prescribe and receive medication. The association is especially worried about problems associated with issue of medication for children, sugar diabetics and asthma patients – people whose lives depend on getting medicine as quickly as possible.

«E-health system has countless problems that appeared as a result of officials continuously ignoring the needs of medical professionals when introducing e-health system on different platforms and focusing more on the opinions of officials and developers,» representatives of the association mention.

It is also mentioned in the open letter that the introduction of a pointless and outdated e-health system has cost the country several million euros from European funds, whereas evaluation and translation of an analogous system currently used in Estonia would not have cost more than one million euros. Information has been reported on the public space that development of e-health system is related to waste of finances by means of transferring large amounts to ‘consultants’.

At the same time, the association adds that Healthcare Ministry continues accusing doctors of their reluctance to use e-health and putting up unjustified accusations against the ministry and National Health Service. In reality, there are only eight doctors in Latvia that do not use e-health, according to data from LMA. Unfortunately, doctors spend most of the time dealing with all sorts of problems associated with this non-functioning system.

The association reminds that e-health is associated with four ministers – Juris Bārzdiņš, Ingrīda Circene, Guntis Belēvičs and Anda Čakša. All of them praised the progress of e-health system’s introduction in Latvia.

«The question is – who should take political responsibility for the problems doctors, pharmacists and patients now have to face when working with e-health. A committee focused on this matter would help determine the ‘consultants’ that were paid several dozen million euros for developing e-health, as well as their contribution and responsibility for the project,» the association concludes.


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