Latvia - Health

Primary care is provided at large urban health centers, hospital and walk-in emergency facilities, individual and group private practices, rural clinics staffed by midwives and physicians' assistants (which numbered 355 in 1999), and workplace clinics run by large private employers and the military. As of 1999, total health care expenditure was estimated at 6.7% of GDP. As of 1999, there were an estimated 2.8 physicians and 10.3 hospital beds per 1,000 people. In the same year, Latvia had 151 hospitals, of which 31 were located in Riga (including all specialized hospitals). Hospital beds totaled 21,592.

As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at 8.3 and 14.7 per 1,000 people respectively. Life expectancy in 2000 was 70 years and the infant mortality rate was 10 per 1,000 live births. The total fertility rate in 2000 was1.2 per woman during childbearing years. In 1999, immunization rates for one-year-olds were as follows: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 95%; and measles, 97%. Measles, neonatal tetanus and polio had been almost completely eradicated by 1994–95.

Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of mortality in Latvia, with a rate of nearly 400 per 1,000 people over age 65. There were 23,329 deaths due to cardiovascular disease in 1994. About 67% of men and 12% of women smoked in 1993. Among teenagers aged 15, 15% smoked every day in 1993–1994. As of 2002, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 1,792. HIV prevalence was 0.11 per 100 adults.

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