The amendments to the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers approved on Tuesday, July 14, which determine the procedure for organization and payment of health care services, will be gradually financed from the state budget also for special nutrition for seriously ill adult patients.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) was informed that the draft regulation provides only for the provision of mixtures that can be administered parenterally or by bypassing the intestinal tract or enterally through a probe or an artificial opening.
The procedure envisages that the Riga East Clinical University Hospital, which employs a team of enteral and parenteral nutrition specialists, will be the coordinating medical institution, which will evaluate the compliance of adult patients with the indications for receiving state-paid nutritional mixtures. If necessary, the state will also pay for enteral and parenteral nutrition in home care. This means that the doctor’s assistant or nurse will go to the patient’s home to help with this process.
The provision of special food is also continued for persons who have reached the age of 18 and are registered with the Palliative Care Office of the Children’s Clinical University Hospital (BKUS), as well as for patients with cystic fibrosis and children with severe protein intolerance or severe malabsorption syndrome.
Currently, the state pays for both enteral and parenteral nutrition when a patient is hospitalized, as well as these special mixtures are provided to children under the age of 18 if they are registered with the BKUS Palliative Care Cabinet. Until now, in cooperation with specialists in the field, indications have been developed in which case parenteral and enteral feeding mixtures should be provided to the patient so that the principle is the same in the country.
The decision will prevent a situation when, after discharge from the hospital, a patient cannot purchase the necessary special food due to financial reasons, the Minister of Health Ilze Ņķele (“For Development / About”) pointed out at the government meeting.
“There are people who, after a number of serious illnesses, have the inability to ingest food on their own as a permanent complication, so human vital functions are provided by food administered parenterally or enterally through a tube. The cost of this food is quite high – 300 euros a month and more. did not pay for these mixtures to outpatients, outside the hospital.Then when people were home, they had to provide it for their own money.
From 1 July, we can now pay patients for such food. This year, it will not affect more than 50 people, but we will look to expand the range of recipients of paid enteral and parenteral food. It is estimated that there could be another 45-50 people, “said.
It was expected that liquid food for untreated patients would be paid from July 1, but the progress of regulatory enactments was delayed. Vita representative Sanita Janka emphasized that the ministry is looking for a solution to pay for liquid food from July 1.
Problems in the availability of palliative care in Latvia were also raised in the Latvian Radio project “In the zone of despair”. The charity marathon “Give Five 2019”, which took place at the end of last year, was also dedicated to this topic. 438 197 euros collected in donations, reaching the absolute record of “Give five!” history. Donations provide a complete diet for terminally ill people who can no longer eat on their own, as well as other palliative care support therapies. After these projects politicians decided, that the state will still provide meals for palliative care patients, but did not manage to do so by July 1.
Rūta Dimanta, the head of the organization “Ziedot.lv”, said that from “Give five!” 30% of the donated money was spent and 300 people were helped. Including help with special foods. At the same time Diamond already expressedthat there are still many problems in palliative care and I would like to see the same pace as in the decisions on Covid-19 in the arrangement of palliative care.
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