Inbound medical travel to Latvia banned


Anticipating a rise in the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients, all hospitals in Latvia have been told to cease scheduled inpatient and day-patient services.

Before this new order, hospitals themselves were able to take the decision on restricting scheduled in-patient services.

The health ministry confirmed that some health care services will not be cancelled, including emergency medical services, examinations and consultations, and out-patient health care services, covering consultations of specialists, oncological and life-saving surgeries.

Hospitals have been told that they must also continue to provide services to ensure continuity of treatment for day-patients covering chemotherapy, biological medicines, organ replacement therapy, radiotherapy, day-patient services in haematology, substitution therapy for methadone and buprenorphine, patient health care that should be continued or completed in emergency treatment, invasive cardiology, and invasive radiology.

The following services are mandatory in the hospitals: emergency medical treatment, oncological, life-saving, as well as surgeries which may result in disability, health care services related to treatment of such groups of diseases as oncology, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, psychiatry, contagious skin diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, traumatology, acute and sub-acute rehabilitation services for persons for whom the postponement of such services may lead to a risk of disabling or loss of workability.

The government has decided to stop providing health care services as part of medical tourism until the end of the state of emergency, with the right to provide exceptions based on humane reasoning.

Thousands of medical tourists to Latvia seek fertility treatment, eye surgery, cosmetic surgery, cancer treatment, stem cell therapy, hair loss treatment, and orthopaedics. Most are from Russia, but others are from Scandinavia and Europe.



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