Health Policy in the Baltic Countries since the beginning of the 1990s

Vaida Bankauskaite, Julia S O'Connor

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    Abstract

    AbstractThe objective of this article is to compare the development of health policies in three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the period from 1992 to 2004 and reflect on whether key dimensions of these policies are developing in parallel, diverging or even converging in some respects. The paper identifies the similarity in the overall goals and compares the policy content in primary health care, the hospital sector and financing. We conclude that health policy in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania has been progressing in parallel towards a Western European social insurance funding model, developing a primary care system anchored on a general practitioner service and lessening the hospital orientation of the pre-1990s system. There is evidence of both convergence and divergence across the three countries and of progress in the direction of EU15 in key health policy and outcome characteristics. These patterns are explained partly by differing starting points and partly by political and economic factors over the 1992–2004 period.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-165
    JournalHealth Policy
    Volume88
    Issue number2-3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

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    Keywords

    • Estonia
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Policy
    • Convergence
    • Health system
    • Health reform

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