Health Care, Disease Control, Crime and Safety in Latvia
The healthcare system of Latvia is the responsibility of its Ministry of Health, or Veselibas Ministrija in the Latvian language. Almost 70% of its population lives in the urban areas. This gives them an advantage when it comes to healthcare accessibility since most medical facilities and institutions are located in the cities. However, in the early 1990s, the country has experienced a shortage in basic medical supplies such as medicines and medical tools and equipment. Its hospitals are mostly old and lacked medical facilities that are up-to-date. Moreover, hospitals are only available in the urban areas which leave the rural areas behind. There are enough physicians in the country but there are very few medical assistants and personnel to accommodate the Latvians around the country.
According to statistics, the life expectancy rate in Latvia is 72.42 years. Despite the high rate, a lot of fatal diseases are affecting a lot of Latvians up until today. There are more than 10,000 people infected by HIV/AIDS, and this number continues to grow. Tuberculosis and tick-borne encephalitis continue to bring terror to the Latvian society and affect every age. Also, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are significant problems in the country. This is why vaccines for Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and medicines for Tuberculosis and tick-borne encephalitis are most often required by the Latvian government for foreign nationals who want to visit the country. Malaria, typhoid, and rabies vaccines are needed at times.
The Latvian healthcare system continues to improve though still falls short in the western standards. However, there are western quality dental care facilities available in Riga.