Healthcare in Latvia


how does the healthcare system work in Latvia ? Is it efficient ?

What are the main differences between public and private sectors?

Is it recommended to purchase private health insurance in Latvia?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience !


Private healthcare for non-residents does not exist. Even for residents it is difficult, with only a few providers catering for individuals (more common is corporate healthcare packages).

I would disagree with Scott.  In Riga health care is not a problem for foreigners.

There is plenty of private care, some of which is available in English (the ARS center on Skolas Iela has english reception and doctors, and provides care, and laboratory analysis.)  Public health-care is not an option for foreigners, without some sort of citizenship.

The general reputation for public health care is poor, and delayed.  Many Doctors go through the public education, getting there accreditation for free, but paying back in time providing public services.   The pay for doctors is so low that some students give up on being doctors and enter other careers.  Local med school graduates are skilled enough to work abroad (if their degree was learned in an appropriate language.)
Private health care (in Riga) is good, and can be as advanced as you can afford.

Insurance is available for travellers and for residents, and is not expensive.  It's only my opinion, but I recommend at least some insurance for everyone.  The last thing you want is to go bankrupt paying a hospital bill (what are we? USA?)

The expat-blog staff recommend using their insurance finding system.

Jaxxed is correct that private healthcare is available, in terms of access to doctors and health consultants paying on an "as needs" basis.

What is more difficult is getting a private healthcare plan that covers yourself and family (and this was my original reading of the post). Take up of personal plans are behind the rest of Europe. While apparently Latvia is one of the highest users of private healthcare per capita compared to the rest of Europe (I've heard the figure 38% quoted) these policies for locals will typically be company or state contributory schemes that reduce the normal medical charges whenever you are ill. e.g. most state workers have private health plans, but these are small and usually capped on a per annual basis.

I am delighted with the quality of medical care in Latvia, but it is a case of getting what you pay for. For example, I saw a top consultant for a minor ear operation privately who charged about 140 euros for 3 sessions, including medicine. The same consultant in the UK would have charged 140euros per hour. This makes the best private healthcare affordable to foreigners, but quite expensive for locals.

In terms of insurance, it's very difficult to get a personal one (it's virtually non-existent). Private medical institutions don't really care about insurance, since there is nothing free anyway. Obtaining general European insurance is an option if you have to go to the public hospital, but don't expect a lot from it.

The level of medical care is high and, having to compare, I prefer it here over UK (sorry!) :)


In order to help expats and soon-to-be expats, we would like to invite you to share your experience on this topic, with updated info on the healthcare system.

Thank you in advance,

Julie Team

I need some health insurance for my Residency Permit. Can you suggest a provider and type of coverage? (and contact info)

I also need a chest x-ray. Where do I go for that?

I live in rural parts outside any city area. Visit to doctor cost my 3 euro .Driving License swop to Latvian as pensioner cost 15 euro including medical and xray costs at hospital.Why do you need to pay expensive insurance are you very ill. Only an operation cost but then cover for that can be bought as you need it? Never had one so may never happen sort of thing.

Doctor who sends you into local hospital . Nothing costs a fortune here. About 12 euro max from your local MD

No, I am not ill. In fact, I normally don't have health insurance. But in order to obtain a Residency Permit, I am required to have one year of health insurance and a chest x-ray. No choice. So, if you know of a cheap local insurer, that would be great.
When I was in Russia, they required the same thing. Big companies that sell expat health are through the roof expensive. A local Russian insurer was 1/10th the cost. That is what I would like to do here, if I can.

Ah! yes remember that when I arrived here. Place in Limbaji town centre who deal with car insurance did mine. Wanted 60 lats then for two yes cover. It included taking me back to England if big operation was needed. After that no one asked to renew. I should imagine any car insurance office do the same. As to chest xray go to your doctor here or sign in with them. If you walk into hospital a big charge or no deal as no doctors letter. For me my Latvian wife helped with such registration with doctors here in rural parts of Latvia. i would ring your own Embassy in Riga , Big USA place and they should answer all your questions. I am on file with British Embassy and find them good when such is needed. I went to the Christmas dinner there last year and meet many new friends from England. All ex pats here. Hope you sort all out but do not worry Latvia is very sleepy Joe about rules. Dont drive without insurance dont kill anyone thats about it. Sure all will be well for you

Thanks. I appreciate your very practical and useful help. I will do exactly as you suggest. I will also see if I can attend the US Christmas party if my Embassy has one.

You are very welcome and thank you for your reply. Depending were you settle in Latvia we have a group of mainly English speaking men.We meet in Riga monthly for bowling or luncheon or just to relax with coffee and chin wag. You are welcome to join us of that I am sure as we easy going ex pats from may nations. About 8 of us mainly. Gary Micheli and Martin all live in south Riga area. Lawrence in Limbaji me in Liepupe and some spread between. Rob lives near Valmera but is working in Saudi just now. Rest of us have business here or like me, Martin and Gary, retired. Live is good with friends sir. I would have been rather sad her without them. Kevin, *** if you wants to talk

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Kevin, Thanks for the invitation. I gladly accept and would like to meet the gang. I see that the gang is from all over. I live in Riga Center and have no car. Of course, I can and will take the trolley or bus wherever they will take me.
I would no doubt enjoy speaking with you, but I tried calling the number you gave me, ***, and was met with a message that it was not a good number. ??

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My number is ***

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i was planning on moving from germany to latvia. I have a german public health insurance that comes with an european health insurance card (EHIC). is it possible to use my german insurance for the residency permit application ???( … e-permits/ says as one of the conditions for the application: "a valid health insurance policy for a year,")
How does the latvian public health care work? Assuming i have a part time job in latvia, does my employer pay for it? Do i pay for it? Is it a fixed rate or a percentage ? Would I get a latvian health insurance card? Maybe even an EHIC?
How much € approximatly is the basic public insurance / health care?
Many greetings,

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