How will future health policy impact on regional disparities and healthcare in Latvia

Ieva Bikava, Ilga Kreituse (Coresponding Author)

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Latvia is a country with high level of regional disparities and as researches have approved – income, education, and environment significantly affect the status of people's health. The reforms in healthcare have been carried out under the flags of accessibility, efficiency, effectiveness, and quality since 1991. Some groups support the idea that the state should take over almost all services, the others claim that more responsibilities should be transferred to the private sector, and dispute on service provider network and financing system. In accordance with the coalition theory and legislation of Latvia, the initiators and designers of the structural reforms are politicians, elected by the citizens. In theory, every politician represents the political party with its ideology and vision that is expressed in the Programme of the party. Due to Parliament elections in 2018, to understand which way the country will go, and how the chosen strategy will impact on the regional disparities, analysis of the middle-term development strategy was made. Research results showed that political parties in Latvia are not based on the ideology and the strategical development vision of the State, so the development and changes made in legislation are mainly ad-hoc decisions or the result of lobbying activities of influential groups. Due to the lack of middle term vision as the gap between long-term development strategy and short-term decisions, unfortunately, the prognosis of future health politics leads to the conclusion that regional disparities and the problem with Health care accessibility in next decades will only rise.

Key words: health policy / regional disparities / political party ideology
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSHS Web of Conferences
Subtitle of host publication7th International Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference SOCIETY. HEALTH. WELFARE
EditorsUldis Berķis, Lolita Vilka
PublisherEDP Sciences
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-7598-9081-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event7th International Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference "Society. Health. Welfare": Contemporary Social Dynamics and Welfare: Urban and Rural Development Perspectives - Riga, Latvia
Duration: 10 Oct 201812 Oct 2018
Conference number: 7

Publication series

NameSHS Web of Conferences
ISSN (Print)2261-2424


Conference7th International Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference "Society. Health. Welfare"
Internet address


  • Health policy
  • Political party ideology
  • Regional disparities

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 5.6 Political science

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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