Lithuanian health care in transitional state: ethical problems

Jakušovaitė, Irayda; Darulis, Žilvinas; Žekas, Romualdas
January 2005
BMC Public Health;2005, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p117
Academic Journal
Background: Throughout the economic and political reforms in post-communist countries, significant changes have also occurred in public morality. One of the tasks of the Lithuanian health policy is to create mechanisms for strengthening the significance of ethical considerations in the decision-making processes concerning health care of individuals and groups of individuals, as well as considering the positions of physicians and the health care system itself in a general way. Thus, health care ethics could be analyzed at two levels: the micro level (the ethics of doctor-patient relationships) and the macro level (the ethics of health policy-making, which can be realized by applying the principles of equal access, reasonable quality, affordable care and shared responsibilities). To date, the first level remains dominant, but the need arises for our attention to refocus now from the micro level to the patterns of managing and delivering care, managing the health care resources, and conducting business practices. Discussion: In attempting to increase the efficiency of health services in Lithuania, a common strategy has been in place for the last fifteen years. Decentralization and privatization have been implemented as part of its policy to achieve greater efficiency. Although decentralization in theory is supposed to improve efficiency, in practice the reform of decentralization has still to be completely implemented in Lithuania. Debates on health policy in Lithuania also include the issue of private versus public health care. Although the approach of private health care is changing in a positive way, it is obvious that reduced access to health services is the most vulnerable aspect. In the Lithuanian Health Program adopted in July 1998, the target of equity was stressed, stating that by 2010, differences in health and health care between various socio-economic groups should be reduced by 25%. Summary: The restructuring of health care system in Lithuania should be based on a balance between decentralization and centralization, and between public and private health care sectors. Successful transition requires a balanced role of the government. Today it is obvious in Lithuania that continuous encouragement to make sacrifices was not enough to induce the system to function well, and in an ethical manner.


Related Articles

  • LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT. Burger, Deborah // Registered Nurse: Journal of Patient Advocacy;Mar2007, Vol. 103 Issue 2, p2 

    The author reflects on the problems of the public healthcare system in the U.S. She points out that most of the problems public healthcare institutions face can be traced back to the nation's failure to institute a national health insurance policy for all residents. She adds that such healthcare...

  • Chapter 1: Background to the new Swedish public health policy.  // Scandinavian Journal of Public Health;Dec2004 Supplement 64, Vol. 32 Issue s64, p6 

    Presents a background to Sweden's public health policy. Health efforts in Europe; Swedish undertakings and actions; Health developments in Sweden.

  • Mixed Prognosis: Equity, Access, and Emerging Issues within British Columbia's Health Care System. Williams, Lacuna L. // Journal of Public Health Policy;2000, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p211 

    The author, an American, examines British Columbia's health care system as it struggles to retain equity and access as two of its implacable tenets. Some sources argue that realities fall far short of the abstract ideals. Certainly implementation and funding problems are growing as B.C.'s policy...

  • ON SHAKY FOUNDATIONS.  // Community Care;5/8/2003, Issue 1471, p5 

    Discusses the likely creation of a two-tier health service in Great Britain and its implications for foundation hospitals as of May 2003. Vision of the government on adult social care; Forecast on the increase in hospitals which will be aspiring for foundation status; Assessment of potential...

  • NZ scores well in survey.  // New Zealand Doctor;11/21/2007, p5 

    The article reports on the Commonwealth Fund health policy survey. The survey, which had 1000 respondents, found that New Zealand provides better care as compared to other countries. It also found that the adults here are more likely to have a medical home which translates to experiencing better...

  • Wanless III - Engagement O? The public's health. Bell, Andy // British Journal of Healthcare Management;Nov2006, Vol. 12 Issue 11, p347 

    The author comments on the issues concerning public health in Great Britain. David Hunter has argued that public health policy was at risk of travelling in the wrong direction. Instead of taking positive action to improve people's health, the government was unable to decided between a focus on...

  • Advancing the application of systems thinking in health: South African examples of a leadership of sensemaking for primary health care. Gilson, Lucy; Elloker, Soraya; Olckers, Patti; Lehmann, Uta // Health Research Policy & Systems;2014, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p1 

    Background New forms of leadership are required to bring about the fundamental health system changes demanded by primary health care (PHC). Using theory about complex adaptive systems and policy implementation, this paper considers how actors' sensemaking and the exercise of discretionary power...

  • Searching for El Dorado: the impossibility of finding the right rate. Frohlich, Norman; Roos, Noralou P. // CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;10/15/2002, Vol. 167 Issue 8, p880 

    Discusses the difficulties in determining the right rate for various medical procedures. Context to key health policy issues; Reasons for fluctuation in rates across Canada; Argument for more research about the cost-effectiveness of investment in medical care; Preservation of the Canadian...

  • FAILING HEALTH. Steinberg, Jon // Progressive;Dec84, Vol. 48 Issue 12, p18 

    Examines the status of the United States healthcare system. Health policies influencing the ways by which Americans obtain medical treatment; Attempts of the government to contain costs in health care; Categories attached by the government to hospital services; Steps taken by Health Maintenance...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics