More attention on prevention this year


2022 04 29


Experts of the Control Division at Panevėžys Territorial health insurance fund (THIF) have analysed the involvement of Panevėžys and Utena district residents at prevention programmes, funded by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (CHIF) in the last three years. The aim was to determine, which regions are the least active with their health check-ups according to these programmes and find ways to encourage them.

According to experts, the pandemic had a huge impact on the decrease in the implementation of preventive programmes and the changed pandemic situation now raises concerns that, in some areas, the population is not getting back on track with their health check-ups.

Regina Venckienė, Head Expert of the Control Division, noted that the CHIF funds, allocated for prevention, keep increasing, but a part of it remains unused. For example, in 2019, before the pandemic, health care institutions in Panevėžys and Utena districts have used nearly all funds, allocated for preventive programmes, which was nearly 2.4 million Eur. During the first year of the pandemic (2020), the residents used only a little more than half of the 3.2 million Eur, while in 2021 – only four fifths out of nearly 2.9 million Eur. The nationwide situation was a little better.
Considering the general implementation of the preventive programmes, it can be noted that, last year, prevention in Panevėžys and Utena districts did not reach the desired level, although residents were encouraged to hurry up with their check-ups while they are still feeling healthy.

The most active, although still insufficiently, were women, checking for breast and cervical cancer, as well as both men and women for colon cancer. The percentage of men, participating in prostate cancer programmes, also men and women, participating in cardiovascular disease programmes last year in Panevėžys THIF territory was below 50 per cent.

Panevėžys THIF is most worried about the fact that insufficient participation of the target-age population at prevention programmes shows a deteriorating identification of precancerous diseases and early stages of cancer: In 2019, the number of these illnesses, diagnosed in Panevėžys and Utena districts, was 354, in 2020 – 2014, last year – 208.

The analysis of prevention programs based on municipalities revealed that the poorest implementation indices belong to Zarasai, Biržai and Utena district municipalities. Detailed results indicated that the smallest numbers of women, screened for cervical cancer last year, live in Biržai, Anykščiai and Zarasai districts, while the same indices for breast cancer belong to Biržai and Zarasai districts. Meanwhile, men are reluctant to check for prostate cancer everywhere, but the residents in Zarasai and Utena districts are the least active of all. Two programmes that apply both to men and women showed the lowest indices in Biržai, Zarasai and Anykščiai districts (cardiovascular diseases), also Utena, Zarasai districts and Visaginas city (colon cancer).  

Panevėžys NHIF experts sought advice on ways to encourage people to take a greater care of their health with the Supervisory Board.

The Chair Regina Mitrienė noted that this area is lacking both in awareness of the residents and a proactive approach on behalf of the medics.

Manfredas Žymantas, Deputy Mayor of Ignalina District Municipality, shared an idea that Zarasai, where, for some reason, the residents are reluctant to check their health, should keep a closer relationship with the municipal Public Health Centre (PHC) and keep reminding about the programmes. It was noted that the low check-up rate is a problem not only in Zarasai, so closer cooperation is needed with other PHC as well.

Representatives of Panevėžys THIF drew attention to the fact that health insurance funds have planned a more active cooperation with the PHC, including meetings with various resident groups and other prevention promotion measures.

More detailed information on the analysis is available here.

More information on prevention programmes is available here.

(Piktochart photo)

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