The new health centers will increase the availability of services

On the initiative of the Ministry of Health (MoH), from 1 August, municipalities have started to establish health centres, after assessing the efficiency of all medical institutions in their territory and the health care services they provide. One of them was established in Klaipėda and a decision was taken to establish a health centre in Tauragė.

"The process of establishing health centres has gained rapid momentum, with the final steps in the process of establishing health centres already underway in many municipalities. The health centre model will enable patients to receive the most frequently used, essential services close to home, provide a clearer pathway for receiving treatment, and should reduce queues. The modernisation of the infrastructure of the medical institutions participating in the health centre and the pooling of doctors' competences in the health centre will also improve the working environment for doctors", says Vilma Srogė, Senior Adviser of the Personal Health Department of the Ministry of Health and Social Policy.

Expanding the healthcare package

The first health centre was set up in March this year in Švenčionys, merging the district hospital with the polyclinic. The second, the Radviliskis District Health Centre, was launched this October. In November, a health centre was also established in Klaipėda.

"It is very important for the city to bring together all the human and infrastructural resources and medical equipment into one network, which is focused on improving the overall health indicators of the population. The 36 medical institutions that have joined the health centre are located in different districts of Klaipėda, so a wide range of services will be provided throughout the city," said Vaida Raugelė, Vice-Mayor of Klaipėda City Municipality.

She noted that the decision to establish the health centre was motivated by the need to address the growing demand for home care services, to evenly distribute human resources, and to ensure a clearer and shorter patient pathway. "By expanding the choice of services available to patients, we will reduce queues, strengthen the quality of nursing and palliative care services, and expand the package of home care services".

The establishment of a health center in Klaipėda will also open up access to additional services. According to the Deputy Mayor, until now, not all medical institutions in the municipality have been able to provide cardiology services due to a lack of specialists. With the addition of private medical institutions to the health center, the need for services will be met: patients who have been referred by their family doctor for consultations or tests will be able to use the services free of charge.

Improved quality of healthcare services

Rūta Stasytienė, a doctor at Tauragė District Municipality, said that in October this year, the Tauragė District Municipal Council took a decision to set up the health center in order to merge the basic health care services and to ensure a smoother delivery of health care services to the residents. "The health center involves 10 personal health care institutions (2 public and 8 private) and a public health office," she said.

The changes will allow the population to have faster access to specialists, improve the health indicators of the municipality's population, and strengthen the quality of the services provided. According to Ms Stasytiene, SAM funds have already been earmarked for the modernization of the institutions, the purchase and renewal of medical equipment.