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Ministry of Health
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The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania is charged with the protection of health and the medical treatment of the people of the country. It pursues government policy in health care and medical care, and makes proposals, determines the main policies and priorities of the National Health System, gives accreditation for the development of health-care and pharmacy activities, and issues licenses for medical and pharmacy practice. It organizes the provision of essential medication and supplies and dispenses medicine. In addition, it handles the establishment, reorganization or liquidation of health-care and pharmacy institutions in the Republic. It is also concerned with the training of skilled workers with sound medical qualifications. The Ministry employ about 100 employees. Professor Juozas Galdikas, Ph.D., is in charge of the Ministry.|
The history of the Ministry of Health goes back to 1918, when independence was established. At that time, a department of health was established within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Besides the department, four other ministries were concerned with health protection: the ministries of Land Defence, Education, Transport and Communications and Justice. The Health Department consisted of three sub-departments, those of Sanitation, Pharmacy and Medicine. The department had 10 employees, of which 3-4 were physicians. Only state health-care institutions were under the power of the department. The first head of the department was the doctor Jurgis Alekna. As there were five institutions involved in health issues in Lithuania, a 12-man Medical Council was established.
Between the World Wars, the system of health administration underwent some major changes. Between 1939, when the country experienced war and three occupations, there was no stability, and many of those involved in medicine and pharmacy work were later either exiled to Siberia, repatriated abroad or killed in the war.
Following the restoration of Lithuanian independence in 1991, there remained the task of reorganizing the system inherited from the Soviet period. New legislation on the health-care institutions and their work has been passed. A Bureau of Health Reform has been established in the Ministry, and specialists from Canada, Sweden, Denmark and PHARE and JT have been assisting the Ministry and the Bureau to solve some health-care issues.
This year, the Ministry has been dealing with insurance medicine. It is hoped that health administration in Lithuania will be progressive and will lead to the achievement of the same standards as in the developed countries of Western Europe.
Ministry of Health
Mr. Juozas Galdikas Minister of Health.
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