This report is the fourth in the OECD’s series of reports reviewing public health policies across selected OECD countries. Health care systems across OECD are increasingly under pressure from social changes – including demographic changes and ageing populations – and emerging new health challenges – from a growing burden of chronic disease, to re-emerging and new communicable diseases, or a growing burden of mental ill-health – which demand a strong public health response.

The OECD Reviews of Public Health provide in-depth analysis and policy recommendations to strengthen priority areas of countries’ public health systems, highlighting best practice examples that allow learning from shared experiences and the spreading of innovative approaches. In particular, this series of Reviews of Public Health builds on the OECD’s long-standing programme of work on the economics of public health, applying this extensive expertise to country-specific challenges. The OECD Reviews of Public Health are a tool to help countries to strengthen their national public health systems, and help countries to develop and implement innovative public health actions.

This OECD Review of Public Health for Latvia looks the public health system in Latvia, reviews the effectiveness of existing policies and activities, and makes recommendations to improve public health. Despite noticeable improvements over the last decades, Latvia is facing a considerable public health challenge, with a high burden of non-communicable disease and unhealthy behaviours. Yet the resources available to address these challenges are limited, as Latvia operates a tight budget for health. In light of this, the review suggests ways to improve the efficient use of existing resources and to strengthen existing policies and practices. If additional financial investment in health were to be made available, this review suggests areas where these resources would be most impactful.

Latvia is prioritising public health and with good reason: public health can prevent disease and reduce future health care cost, ensuring a sustainable health system for generations to come. This report provides a path towards a healthier tomorrow.

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