Publication date

Primary care in Baltic countries: a comparison of progress and present systems.

Põlluste, K., Kasiulevicius, V., Veide, S., Kringos, D.S., Boerma, W., Lember, M. Primary care in Baltic countries: a comparison of progress and present systems. Health Policy: 2013, 109(2), p. 122-130.
Download the PDF
Objectives: This study aims to compare the organisation of primary care (PC) systems in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, focusing on the structure and process of service delivery, and to discuss the suitability of the PHAMEU instrument for international comparison of PC systems. Methods: The data were collected in the framework of PHAMEU project during 2009–2010. The selected indicators were used to describe and compare the structure and process of PC in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Results: The results showed that the coordination of PC services, legislative framework, service delivery, quality requirements and PC financing principles are rather similar in all three Baltic countries. Population coverage for PC services, cost sharing for some services, and the employment status of family doctors differs by country. The PHAMEU instrument was most applicable for the description and comparison of the structure of PC and some aspects of the process. Information about patient outcome and quality of care was neither available nor reliable enough. Conclusion: The development of PC systems in Baltic countries has been rather similar, but some aspects also differ between the countries. Use of a standardized instrument allows for international comparison, but assumes standardised data collection procedures in comparable countries. (aut.ref.)