On 5 March, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Health Services Export Development Plan for 2019-2023, which was prepared by the Ministry of Health. It includes action lines and specific measures to develop health export.
In the coming years, the promotion of health exports requires work in three directions. First, to ensure the sustainability of action. The Healthcare Export Services Coordination Council will be established within three months of the entry of this plan into force. Its purpose will be to update on an annual basis the list of strategic markets for health export services, to monitor the implementation of the plan, as well as to signal the government in a timely manner about the need to update the previously developed strategy by adapting it to changing external conditions. The Council should include representatives from the Ministry of Economics, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Association of Healthcare Employers and the Latvian Health Tourism Cluster.
Second, the target market of strategic countries will be defined, which is important in developing the conditions for receiving aid in the field of health tourism. As a priority, support is expected to be provided for activities related to the most strategically important markets. As a result, targeted state aid for the development of health export services will be provided.
Data on health services provided to foreign patients in Latvia will be collected and analysed on an annual basis, which will allow Latvia to assess Latvia’s attractiveness in the eyes of other health tourists, the most demanded services, as well as provide an overall insight into the real situation in the field of health tourism.
The third direction is the creation and maintenance of the image of Latvia as the country exporting health services. This means that targeted and coordinated work will be done to ensure the trust of foreign population in health services provided by Latvian medical institutions and medical practitioners. Marketing activities abroad will be coordinated and harmonised to ensure targeted use of state aid resources.
A specifically established workgroup was working on the action plan, which included representatives from the involved ministries, institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Health and professional organisations of the industry.