RIGA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Latvian government considers a gradual merger of the Baltic country's two largest hospitals as part of the national health care system's reform, authorities said Monday.
Instead of being rivals, Riga Eastern Hospital and Pauls Stradins Hospital might combine their resources in order to provide better quality services to their patients and avoid unnecessary overlap, Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said in an interview published in Latvia's leading daily newspaper Diena.
Health Minister Anda Caksa later confirmed to reporters that the ministry has been considering closer cooperation and possibly also a merger of Latvia's two flagship hospitals, both of which are located in the capital city Riga.
In an interview with public radio, the minister said that the main goal is to ensure a more rational use of the hospitals' resources, and that in the beginning the process would be more about synchronization, with merger being planned for later.
The administrators should think not so much about the hospitals' own development but first and foremost about patients' needs, Caksa stressed, adding that currently the hospitals provide the same medical services, buy similar equipment and are not working at full capacity.
The hospitals' gradual integration would help them improve the quality of their services, which eventually would be felt by patients, the minister added.