Latvia

General information and legal support within Latvia

Legal status and visa requirements for those who were forced to leave Ukraine

  • Ukrainian civilians. Ukrainian civilians are citizens of Ukraine and their family members, and also persons who have received a permanent residence permit, the status of a stateless person, or the status of international protection in Ukraine and their family members.
  • Latvia has adopted and is operating a special law on the status of Ukrainian civilians, so it is not necessary to apply for refugee status.
  • On arrival in Latvia via the border crossing points, a border check will be carried out for persons with biometric passports.
  • If a person arrives without travel documents, the identity of the person will be confirmed in cooperation with the competent Ukrainian authorities.
  • All EU countries bordering Ukraine allow entry to all people fleeing the war in Ukraine on humanitarian grounds regardless of whether the person has a biometric passport. This applies also to children.
  • Ukrainian citizens who have a biometric passport do not need a visa for the first 90 days. Residents without a biometric passport will be issued a visa-free of charge.
  • Ukrainian citizens can apply for a long-term visa with the right to work in Latvia. The visa will be issued for one year and will give access to the labour market.

Refugee status / asylum seeker status/ temporary protection status

  • A Ukrainian civilian has the right to receive State paid health care services in the same amount as persons insured in Latvia within the scope of the State mandatory health insurance.
  • Not depending on the refugee /asylum seeker or temporary protection status, all Ukrainian civilians who arrive in Latvia or are already here are eligible for the same free of charge state-covered healthcare and medical services, including medicines, as are available to Latvian residents.
  • For the people residing permanently in Ukraine, having left the country to escape war from 24 February 2022 onwards, the temporary protection status in any EU country can be entitled.
  • The Asylum Affairs Department of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs must decide on the granting of the refugee or alternative status or the refusal to grant one within three months after the personal interview with the asylum seeker, however, the decision on the granting of the refugee or alternative status must be taken no later than within a total of six months after the request of asylum was made.

The period of decision making may be extended by nine more months and, thus, the total decision-making period may reach as much as 15 months.

Find migration counselling institution in Latvia:

The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs

Phone +371 67209422 and +371 67209400 (Monday – Thursday 8:30 – 16:00; Friday 9:00 – 15:00) Ciekurkalna 1. linija 1, k-3, LV-1026, Riga

pasts@pmlp.gov.lv

ukraina@pmlp.gov.lv

Interpretation services (local NGOs, volunteers, reception centres)

A single information telephone number “Assistance to Ukrainians in Latvia” 27 380 380 can help Ukrainians to find an interpreter https://www.patverums-dm.lv/en/-attention–unified-information-phone-assistance-to-ukrainians-in-latvia/1386

Access to the healthcare services

Fees

  • No patient’s co-payment (not applicable to paid services – find out in advance).
  • A Ukrainian civilian shall be exempted from the patient’s co-payment, except for the case if he or she has been socially insured in accordance with the law Of State Social Insurance.

Where can the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go for the following healthcare services?

 

Information about healthcare in Latvia: 8000 1234 (accessible from Latvia only). If calling from abroad, please use: +371 67045005 (Monday-Thursday 8:30 – 17:00; Friday 8:30 – 15:00).

The website of the Ministry of Health is www.vm.gov.lv.

The website of the National Health Service is www.vmnvd.gov.lv.

More information here https://www.ukraine-latvia.com/

Before receipt of healthcare service, passport/visa or permanent residence permit is needed

If no documents are held, please call 80001234

https://www.vmnvd.gov.lv/lv/information-ukrainian-citizens-about-health-care-services-latvia

Acute treatment

Urgent medical aid point and hospital admission unit. Information about available urgent medical aid points at https://www.vmnvd.gov.lv/lv/emergency-medical-help-points

Information about hospital admission units at https://www.vmnvd.gov.lv/en/hospital-admission-wards

Chronic/long-term treatment

Is available to the general practitioner.

Information: nvd@vmnvd.gov.lv, 80001234

Visiting family doctors

Ukrainian civilians do not have to register with health services and family doctors to receive care. The state-funded healthcare services can be accessed freely:   

 Other services

  • Other services (screening, testing, vaccination): via general practitioner. Information: nvd@vmnvd.gov.lv, 80001234

Can third-country nationals who are also fleeing Ukraine access these services?

 Stateless persons and nationals of other third countries who benefited from international protection or equivalent protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022, as well as their family members, and have been displaced from Ukraine on or after 24 February 2022 and Non-Ukrainian nationals of third countries and stateless persons who can prove that they were legally residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 based on a valid permanent residence permit issued by Ukrainian law, and who cannot return in safe and durable conditions to their country of origin are eligible for either EU temporary protection or adequate national protection, depending on the EU country they are in.

More information at https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/stronger-europe-world/eu-solidarity-ukraine/eu-assistance-ukraine/information-people-fleeing-war-ukraine_en

In what languages are these services available?

Latvian, English, Russian.    

Services for People Living with HIV

HIV-testing

  • A Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine has the right to receive state paid health care services in the same amount as persons insured in Latvia within the scope of the state mandatory health insurance.
  • HIV testing is covered by NHS.
  • Free anonymous express testing for HIV can be done at the HIV Prevention Point but an appointment in needed. Please see below:

https://likumi.lv/ta/en/en/id/330546-law-on-assistance-to-ukrainian-civilians

https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/hiv-profilakses-punkti

https://www.vmnvd.gov.lv/lv/laboratoriskie-izmeklejumi

https://www.vmnvd.gov.lv/en/health-care-services-ukrainian-citizens

Antiretroviral treatment (ART)

How can minors get treatment?

Minors can get ART.

Nacionālā veselības dienesta 2018.gada 27. novembra   rīkojums Nr.16-2/259 “RACIONĀLAS FARMAKOTERAPIJAS REKOMENDĀCIJAS no valsts budžeta līdzekļiem apmaksātai ANTIRETROVIRĀLAI TERAPIJAI HIV/AIDS INFEKCIJAS ĀRSTĒŠANAI”
Check more information here.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

No regulation is available on pre-exposure prophylaxis in Latvia.  Individual risks and benefits can be discussed with a specialist (infectiologist).

Medication used for pre-exposure prophylaxis is available in Latvia and is state covered.

www.dati.zva.gov.lv/zalu-registrs/info/

Check Latvian Centre of Infectious Diseases; HIV/Aids ward
General reception phone number +371 67000610.
Sign up for appointment 

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

PEP is recommended within 48 hours of possible infection. 

https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/hiv-profilakses-punktia

If the risk of being infected with HIV occurred while performing work responsibilities (such as medical personnel, police officers, rescuers) or in situations arising from violence (such as sexual assault ), ART medication will be free of charge: https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/hiv-profilakses-punkti

There is no minimum age to receive HIV post-exposure prophylaxis: https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/registretas-2014gada/5322e625e2a511.pdf

To get HIV post-exposure prophylaxis go to “Latvijas Infektoloģijas centres”  Latvian Centre of Infectious Diseases) admission ward. Linezera street 3, Rīga, LV-1006. Phone: (+371) 67014595    

https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/hiv-profilakses-punkti

Services for People Living with Hepatitis B or C

Hepatitis B or C testing, hepatitis B vaccination, and hepatitis B or C treatment availability

  • A Ukrainian civilian has the right to receive state paid health care services in the same amount as persons insured in Latvia within the scope of the state mandatory health insurance.
  • Hepatitis Bor C serology testing is covered by the NHS with a referral form issued by NHS family physician or other specialists.
  • Free anonymous express testing for hepatitis B or C can be received at the HIV Prevention Point. A previous appointment to the prevention point is mandatory. A list of addresses and contacts can be seen at: https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/hiv-profilakses-punkti
  • Vaccination and referrals to laboratory testing or infectiologist/ hepatologist can be received at the general practitioner – Information: nvd@vmnvd.gov.lv, 80001234.
  • In the case of chronic hepatitis B or C certain medicines are included in the state reimbursable medicines the list for outpatient treatment with 100% of the amount  compensated. Those can be prescribed by an infectiologist/ hepatologist with the approval of the doctor’s council.
  • Patients with acute hepatitis B or C can consult a family physician and are referred to an infectologist for further testing and monitoring, if necessary. https://likumi.lv/ta/en/en/id/330546-law-on-assistance-to-ukrainian-civilians          https://www.vmnvd.gov.lv/en/health-care-services-ukrainian-citizens
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Indications for hepatitis B or C testing or vaccination, hepatitis B or C treatment:

Vaccination for hepatitis B is highly recommended and covered by NHS for:

  • Children according to the vaccination calendar. Unvaccinated children can be immunized using monvaccine (HB), if according to age or other circumstances, combined vaccine cannot be administered.
  • Persons who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis B and are receiving chronic haemodialysis or hemodiafiltration procedures. There are no general contradictions apart from drug/vaccine specific for each manufacturer. Treatment initiation is based on indications.
  • Vaccination for hepatitis B is highly recommended and covered by employers for employees, who regularly (at least once a month) while performing their work duties or during studies come into direct contact with patients or human biological materials that may contain or transfer hepatitis B, or with objects contaminated with such materials.
  • Vaccination for hepatitis B is recommended for all Latvian populations, especially for travellers.

Testing for hepatitis B or C is recommended for:

  • Patients with sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhoea, syphilis), HIV infections, hepatitis C
  •  Injecting drug users
  • Persons at risk of sexual behaviour (frequent change of sexual partners, provision or receipt of sexual services)
  • Men who have sex with men
  • If there has been a blood transfusion before 1970
  • Patients who receive frequent injections (such as diabetics; immunosuppressants, chemotherapy or hemodialysis)
  • Prior to open surgery

Treatment for hepatitis B is covered in the case of the chronic form.

Treatment of hepatitis C indications is noted by infectiologist/ hepatologist with approval of doctors´ council based on the genotype of the virus, state of hepatic fibrosis, and history of organ transplant significant clinical signs outside the hepatic system.

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What to do if a medical history of hepatitis B vaccination or hepatitis B or C treatment cannot be provided

  • If a person can describe when they last received a vaccination, what vaccines were given, and how many vaccines were received at the last visit, one can continue the vaccination scheme that was started. If it is doubtful whether vaccines were received at all, it is safe and necessary to administer them repeatedly. Serology testing can be performed, if the vaccination status is unknown.
  • Unvaccinated children can be vaccinated using monovaccine (HB), if according to age or other circumstances combined vaccine cannot be administered.
  • Persons who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis B and are receiving chronic hemodialysis or hemodiafiltration procedures will receive vaccines due to epidemiological indications.
  • Compulsory vaccination against hepatitis B for employees, who regularly (at least once a month) while performing their work duties or during studies come into direct contact with patients or human biological materials that may contain or transfer hepatitis B, or with objects contaminated with such materials.
Sources:

Treatment options available for hepatitis related liver diseases

There are treatment options available for liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma can be prescribed by an oncologist as state covered based on the doctors’ council’s decision.

Sources:

Support systems (harm reduction/safer use, social support or psychosocial support) are available for the Ukrainians undergoing therapy for hepatitis C or related liver diseases

In case of positive hepatitis B or C or HIV express test patienst can apply for the services of a support person.

Coordinator phone. 28632639 (Agita Sēja) or dialogs@diacentrs.lv

Services of psycho-emotional support (not specific for hepatitis C patients) are available free of charge by contacting the service provider:

  • Crisis and Counselling Centre “Skalbes” 24551700 business days 9:00 – 17:00 (also available after office hours upon a prior arrangement during the office hours)
  • Association “Centre MARTA”; opening hours 10:00-18.00, Tel. no. 67378539
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Tuberculosis services

If the person has TB symptoms:

  • Health examination of an asylum seeker shall include the inspection for the determination of tuberculosis in accordance with the laws and regulations. It is not mandatory to perform any tests to enter the country or just after arrival:  https://likumi.lv/ta/en/en/id/295255
  • If a Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine has symptoms of TB (e.g. cough, fever, weight loss), they should contact a general practitioner for consultations, prescriptions, and further referral to a specialist, for analyses. Information: nvd@vmnvd.gov.lv, 80001234
  • Family physician is the first healthcare contact point in Latvia and can be addressed for detailed information on every individual case. For support and information can also contact Latvijas Tuberkulozes apkarošanas biedrība: + 371 23227970 (WhatsApp and Viber). or via e-mail: info@tuberkuloze.lv
  • Once referred to a specialist, an appointment needs to be made and this can be done by phone or in person. Find out the phone numbers of the specialist clinics by calling toll-free number: 80001234.
  • The same applies to children and to any Ukrainian who does not have symptoms, but has been in contact with someone with TB.
  • Tuberculosis and lung disease centres, Riga outpatient department (Tuberculosis un plaušu slimību centres, Rīgas ambulatorā nodaļa). Contacts: Rīga, Lielvārdes street 68, 7. Corp., LV-1006. (+371) 67514433; 67514431; 67514418; email: tb.anodala@aslimnica.lv . For children (+371) 67514414
  • For support and information can also contact Latvijas Tuberkulozes apkarošanas biedrība: + 371 23227970 (WhatsApp and Viber) or via e-mail: info@tuberkuloze.lv
Sources:

If TB was already diagnosed in Ukraine and the person needs to continue treatment:

  • Specific state covered treatment is provided by a specialist of direct access –pneumologist (in case of tuberculosis).
  • Confirmation of TB diagnosis (including of drug-resistant tuberculosis) and determination of medical treatment, as well as review thereof not less than once in three months shall be ensured by a local doctor and the doctors’ council. established by sabiedrība ar ierobežotu atbildību “Rīgas Austrumu klīniskā universitātes slimnīca” [limited liability company Riga East University Hospital].
  • Tuberculosis and lung disease centres, Riga outpatient department (Tuberkulozes un plaušu slimību centres, Rīgas ambulatorā nodaļa). Contacts: Rīga, Lielvārdes street 68, 7. Corp., LV-1006. (+371) 67514433; 67514431; 67514418; email tb.anodala@aslimnica.lv
  • All the above-mentioned services are relevant as well for those who are on directly observed treatment (DOT)/ Video directly observed treatment (VDOT) and also for preventive treatment.
 Sources:

 Non-medical support

  • Tuberkulozes un plaušu slimību centres, Rīgas ambulatorā nodaļa can provide consultation of a social worker on those questions.
  • Contacts: Rīga, Lielvārdes street 68, 7. Corp., LV-1006. (+371) 67514433; 67514431; 67514418; email tb.anodala@aslimnica.lv
  • For support and information can also contact Latvijas Tuberkulozes apkarošanas biedrība: + 371 23227970 (WhatsApp and Viber). or via e-mail: info@tuberkuloze.lv
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If a person has a Ukrainian prescription for TB treatment medication

  • During the medical treatment of tuberculosis, the medicinal products shall be administered under direct observation of a medical practitioner.
  • In case of other prescriptions, a Ukrainian civilian is issued with the medicinal products intended for the treatment of chronic illnesses in a pharmacy, except for narcotic medicinal products or psychotropic medicinal products equivalent thereto, based on a prescription written out in Ukraine if it has been written out in a clearly legible handwriting or using a computer or other technical means which ensure the clear and unequivocal perception of the details and text of the prescription and corrections have not been made thereto.
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Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination for children

Vaccination with BCG is carried out until the age of 16 years.

Parents should refer to a general practitioner for consultations, prescriptions, and further referral to a specialist, for analyses or vaccines. Information: nvd@vmnvd.gov.lv, 80001234

 Or

Children’s Clinical University Hospital (BKUS Ģimenes vakcinācijas centres) to make an appointment call +371 80708866 or write to poliklinika@bkus.lv or fill in the form at https://www.bkus.lv/lv/pieteikuma-forma

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Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) services

Medication rules

Riga, Tvaika street 2; Ļermontova street 1; Gaiziņa street 7

Liepāja, Aldaru street 20/24;

Venspils, Inženieru street 60; Raiņa street 6,

Jūrmala, Raiņa street 98A,

Olaine, Zemgales street 57;

Salaspils, Lauku street 8

Aizpute, Atmodas street 26;

Jelgava, Filozofu street 69;

https://rpnc.lv/narkologiska-palidziba/ambulatora-arstnieciba/

https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/narkologiska-palidziba

What OAT drugs are available in the country?

Methadone programme is state covered, buprenorphine is not.

For more info https://rpnc.lv/narkologiska-palidziba/ambulatora-arstnieciba/

Take-home dosages availability

It is available and is decided upon by the overseeing specialist.

https://dati.zva.gov.lv/mtdb/14-narkologijas-mediciniskie-pakalpojumi/282-pielikumi-izverstie-mediciniskas-tehnologijas-metodes-apraksti-un-citi-materiali/opioidu-atkarigo-pacientu-ilgtermina-farmakoterapija-ar-metadonu

Minimum age for people who use drugs to receive OAT

Usually over the age of 18 years.

Sources

General requirements and access to healthcare

HIV

Hepatitis B/C

TB

OAT