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Implementation of the e-health project in Latvia stumbled because of inefficient project management and insufficient supervision from the part of the Health Ministry, said Chief Auditor Elita Krumina at a joint meeting of Saeima committees on February 21st, informs LETA.

Krumina said that the sector had not defined its requirements during the implementation process, a number of different developers were involved, there was a rotation of employees. The implementation time was too long, and also there were problems because a decision was made to introduce the system at once instead of gradually as it happened in Estonia, for example.

he chief auditor said that Latvia should learn a lesson from the e-health project and other large projects because this is not the only problematic large-scale project in Latvia. Latvia should consider development of a professional work group for management of large projects.

According to Krumina, the e-health system has been introduced, but it does not yet provide all the possible benefits. She said it is not right that the e-health system is offering a wide range of services, but just two of its functions are used actively – sick notes and e-prescriptions. The reason for it is that the requirement for the project was introduction of the e-health system as opposed to its usability.

Krumina said that since 2003 when work on the e-health system started, EUR 15 million have been invested in the project, most of it financing from the EU funds. Another EUR 10 million will still be invested in its development.

As reported, using the new e-health system became mandatory for all healthcare institutions for prescribing government-funded medicines and issuing sick notes in Latvia on January 1 this year. Initially there were many complaints about the new system being too slow and other malfunctions.

The Health Ministry underscores that at present operations of the system have been improved considerably.

The e-health system has been included in the list of the IT critical infrastructure, Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers), said at a joint meeting of several parliamentary committees.

It means that the e-health system and the data it contains have become the matter of national security.

Under the Law on National Security, the list of the IT critical infrastructure is approved by the Cabinet of Ministers and represents a state secret. The IT critical infrastructure must be protected to ensure the basic functions vital for the state and the population and to secure integrity, availability and confidentiality of the particular infrastructure.

The Latvian information technology security incident response institution, Cert.lv, said it was cooperating with the officials responsible for security of the IT critical infrastructure, informing them about threats and vulnerabilities, handling the IT security incidents and organizing training about IT security.


Quelle/Source: The Baltic Course, 22.02.2018

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