If a patient experiences problems in a medical institution, we primarily suggest handling them together with the attending doctor, the head of the ward, or the manager of the medical institution.
In case they cannot be resolved by turning to the medical institution and the patient has concerns with regard to the operation of the medical institution, the quality of the healthcare services, the rights to receive state-paid treatment have not been explained to the patient, or in case the patient has reasons to question the required payment, the patient shall be entitled to submit an application to the Health Inspectorate:
- such application shall be submitted within maximum 24 months of the date of violation of the rights or interests;
- the application shall be processed within 30 days, with the possibility to extend the processing timeline to 4 months in complex cases;
- the information provided in the application shall be used to conduct an inspection in the medical institution and/or to analyse the medical records of the patient, the explanations given by the healthcare professionals, and to invite the applicant or another individual for giving opinions or argumentation when necessary;
- in cases of non-compliance, the Health Inspectorate shall instruct the medical institution to take corrective action with regard to the violations;
- depending on the nature of the detected violations, the Health Inspectorate may issue a warning or suspend the operation of the medical institution without advance notice, decide to impose a fine on the healthcare professionals or the head of the medical institution, ask the Latvian Medical Society to evaluate the validity of the certificate, or decide on return of the money into the state budget or to the patient;
- if the Health Inspectorate identifies possible signs of criminal offence, the case materials shall be forwarded to law enforcement bodies.
There are cases when a compensation for damage to health can be claimed by institution of civil proceedings only. In such cases, evidence shall be provided to the court that the individual has suffered damage due to the particular medical institution. This means that there shall be an expert report there.
A national Treatment Risk Fund has been established, to which the individual may apply to:
- receive a compensation for damage to their life or health (including moral damage) caused by the activities of or lack of activity by healthcare professionals working in a medical institution or by the conditions during the treatment;
- receive a compensation for the treatment-related expenses if the treatment has been necessary to eliminate or mitigate the adverse consequences of the damage caused to the life or health of the patient by a healthcare professional or the conditions during the treatment. More information about the Treatment Risk Fund.
Information on how to apply and how to have your application processed can be obtained by calling or emailing the Health Inspectorate.