The Ministry of Health, who is responsible for implementing government policy, making proposals and providing authorisation and licences for the medical and pharmaceutical industry, centrally controls Lithuania’s healthcare system.
It also oversees the State Patient Fund (SPF) and five Territorial Patient Funds (TPF).
The state system is funded by contributions from employers and employees and from revenue created through state and social insurance activity.
Financial support from the state is available should the system be in danger of incurring a deficit.
Employers must register their employees with the health insurance fund when a new employee starts work.
Dependant family members are covered by the contributions paid by employed family members. The unemployed, old age pensioners and people on long-term sickness benefit or maternity leave do not have to pay healthcare contributions.
If you are self-employed, you need to make your own contributions.
The state fund covers most medical services including treatment by specialists, hospitalisation, prescriptions, pregnancy and childbirth and rehabilitation. All medical treatment is free of charge.
Private medical insurance exists but few people have the means to pay for it and consequently, there are few private practices.
However, the government did encourage religious groups to set up medical and welfare facilities, the Roman Catholic Church, and the charitable organisation Caritas have done so.