From 12.2 million euros to 4.1 million euros was earmarked for the payment of medicines, including "targeted therapies" — drugs that point acting on cancer cells and is included in most of the countries in the list of reimbursable. For innovative drugs Latvia lags behind Estonia and Lithuania for 10 years, according to the society for support patients with breast cancer VITA. There was hope that finally the problem will be solved. Yes, and the government stated that it intends to reduce the number of premature deaths.
However, by the autumn of this year, the health Ministry said that "targeted funding" went wide of the goal: any additional funds spent on treatment of "newly identified patients", which are procured medicines with lot of side effects, developed 50 years ago.
At the same time from the 5.66 million allocated to improve diagnostics, at least 3 million will be spent this year!
"The health Ministry declared "green corridor" for cancer patients, but in fact this corridor he sends people or a dead end, where they do not receive adequate treatment, or to a slow death in the treatment of outdated drugs," - said the head of Vita Irina Januma.
The vicious circle turns out: money is allocated but is being spent haphazardly and against the declared objectives. Moreover, the "green corridor" is not stipulated objectives and intended results at the stages of diagnosis, treatment and surveillance that are not assigned to important indicators such as the increasing life expectancy of the patient treated. Not documented and not applicable assessment of the technologies used in the diagnosis and treatment, although only one application of this criterion allows to save millions of euros a year, according to calculations of the Latvian Institute of health Economics (LVEA).
The Institute indicates that in Oncology the plan for 2017 of 1.49 million euros was earmarked for algorithms a primary diagnosis of 2.33 million at the secondary algorithms. Like, they had to ensure standardization of procedures and uniform quality of service, but it is not clear how they introduced and implemented, if at all. And this complicates the control over the use of allocated to cancer treatment money.
We all the time complain about the shortage of funds, and the number of ongoing costly CT Latvia ranks second in Europe, while the use of effective for early diagnosis of tumors in positron emission tomography we have not even started.
In Riga there is a well equipped Cancer centre "gaiļezers", but of the 15 operating there are three due to lack of operating nurses — the average staff more profitable to take duty in the hospital than to assist the surgeons.
All these facts suggest that in Latvia the growth of the cost of medicine no one bothered to introduce economic and clinical evaluation that would have helped to include in state-funded services in the most efficient and not to spend money on unjustified examination. The faster and more accurate the diagnosis the more efficient and useful to help the patient. And save money on the purchase of modern medicines, which will bring a person's green corridor in life, not in death.