Lithuania's health care system takes up e-Health

Health facilities in Lithuania are obliged to get connected to the electronic patient care system since 2018.
The performance of the facilities is expected to improve with e-Health implementation, the quality of patient care will increase, and queues for specialist doctors’ appointments will get shorter. However, the PLWH community expresses concern that the introduction of electronic prescriptions for patients will fail to ensure the full confidentiality of HIV-positive people.
“The process of connecting Lithuanian healthcare facilities to the electronic system began in 2011, and now it is at the final stage. Now all the documents related to the visit of a family doctor: referral for hospitalization, an electronic prescription, a birth certificate, a death certificate, a medical certificate for obtaining a driver’s license and other documents must be drafted electronically in all healthcare facilities. The community of PLWH is concerned that electronic prescriptions will not ensure the full confidentiality of HIV-positive people. We mean those patients who do not disclose their status to family doctors, they are afraid that now their positive HIV status will be revealed on the basis of the information from electronic prescriptions. In this case, public figures become vulnerable, for whom it is extremely important to maintain the confidentiality of their HIV status”, said Svetlana Kulshis, director of Demetra Association, a member of the ECUO PLWH.
Meanwhile, Demetra Association notes that HIV-positive people expressed suspicion and fears with regard to the introduction of prescription ARV therapy dispensing in pharmacies, but there is no confirmed fact of HIV status disclosure when receiving ART.
According to the official data of the Lithuanian HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases Center (ULAC), as of June 1, 2017, there were 2,282 HIV-positive people in the country, of whom 2,262 were men and 580 − women.
Every fifth HIV-infected person in Lithuania is on the last stage of HIV infection −AIDS, and every eighth person diagnosed with HIV in Lithuania has already died from various causes, including AIDS.
The highest HIV incidence (almost 60%) was registered in Lithuania among injecting drug users, 21.7%. are attributable to heterosexual contacts, MSM account for 8.3%.
In Lithuania, six perinatally infected children were registered (transmission from mother to child).