Edgars Eihmanis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter offers an in-depth look at health politics and the tax-financed health system in Latvia. It traces the development of the Latvian healthcare system, characterized by tension between central and local government, increasing commercialization, and chronic public underfinancing. Since independence in 1991, Latvia first decentralized then recentralized health financing. The state has taken the back seat in provision of health services and allotted larger roles to private providers and to solutions such as out-of-pocket payments that emphasize individual responsibility. In Latvia, life expectancy is among the lowest, and unmet needs are high. As the chapter argues, because of the country’s cultural politics, healthcare rarely tops the political agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Politics in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook
EditorsEllen M. Immergut, Karen M. Anderson, Camilla Devitt, Tamara Popic
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780191892561
ISBN (Print)9780198860525
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Latvia
  • commercialization
  • cultural politics
  • out-of-pocket payments
  • unmet needs
  • health inequality

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

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


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