OECD Reviews of Public Health: Latvia

A Healthier Tomorrow

Latvia sees high rates of obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. In turn, this results in a high incidence of preventable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and many cancers. This puts a burden on a health system which is already operating on a very tight budget as compared to other OECD countries. This OECD report shows that Latvia has many of the policies it needs to address these problems in place. However, Latvia needs to go further to ensure the health system can effectively prevent diseases, not just cure them. This will require redesigning policies to reach a larger population and efforts to educate the population to understand how to protect their health. Better screening programmes are needed, as is a stronger primary care sector, and access to essential medicines for all Latvians.

English