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The population continues to be actively encouraged to carry out preventive screening for insidious diseases

Date

2021 10 29

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This year, health insurance funds set a goal to actively encourage people to use the exclusive compulsory health insurance guarantee - free preventive screening for cervical, breast, prostate, colorectal and cardiovascular diseases. To this end, various groups of the population are met and it is discussed who and how should carry out preventive checks, why this check is so important.

Ms. Rūta Liaudanskienė, an advisor to the Population Services Division of the Vilnius Territorial Health Insurance Fund (THIF), reminded in a remote meeting with the staff and patients of the Vilnius Republican Psychiatric Hospital that all insured persons in Lithuania have been able to check for one of the five diseases free of charge under prevention programmes. These diseases can appear without any noticeable symptoms, and when they appear, it becomes much more difficult to help patients. Preventive screening allows the risk of developing or detecting the onset of the disease to be identified and treatment to be started in a timely manner. It is therefore very important not to delay preventive inspections.

At the meeting, R. Liaudanskienė explained the essential conditions for participation in five disease prevention programs. Insured persons who have reached the so-called risk age can and do receive free checks under these programs, when the risk of developing diseases covered by prevention programs increases especially. In addition, check-ups should be done on a regular basis.

Women between the ages of 25 and 59 (inclusive) have to be screened for cervical cancer once every 3 years; for breast cancer - women aged 50 to 69 years (inclusive) once every 2 years; for colon cancer - men and women aged 50 to 74 years (inclusive) once every 2 years; for prostate cancer - men aged 50 to 69 years (inclusive) and men from the age of 45, if their parents or brothers had the disease every 2 or 5 years; for cardiovascular diseases - men aged 40 to 54 years (inclusive) and women aged 50 to 64 (inclusive) once every 1 year.

Residents often ask how to know when men need to be re-screened for prostate cancer - after 2 or 5 years, as provided in the conditions. The representative of Vilnius THIF explained that the time of the re-check is told by the family doctor, taking into account the results of the check and the patient's age.

For participation in disease prevention programs insured persons at risk must consult their family doctor at the medical institution where they are enrolled. Your GP will carry out all necessary initial tests, refer you to a specialist doctor if necessary, or carry out more detailed tests. With the referral, program participants can perform the tests free of charge at any medical institution that has a contract with the health insurance fund for the required services (for more information – click there).

Ms. Liaudanskienė pointed out that usually the treatment institutions inform patients at risk during their visit to the family doctor, by e-mail, SMS messages or other means that it is time for them to have a preventive check according to any of the prevention programmes. After receiving such a notice, it is important to contact your family doctor immediately and check your health. If a person does not receive or ignores the notices, he/she should ask his/her family doctor if it is time to check his/her health under any of the disease prevention programmes.

Residents are asking what to do regardless of the risk age group. In this case, do the insured have to pay for the checks and the services included in the programs? The representative of Vilnius THIF emphasized that if you were worried about your health and felt unwell, it is necessary to see your family doctor. He will carry out the necessary tests and treatment actions funded by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. This is guaranteed by compulsory health insurance for Lithuanian insured persons.

Detailed information on disease prevention programmes is available on the website of health insurance fund in the section “Prevention programmes”.

Information of the Vilnius Territorial Health Insurance Fund 

The NHIF invites you:

Your questions are welcome by email info@vlk.lt or phone: local (8 5) 232 2222, international +370 5 232 2222.