The European Semester and health equity Findings from the Recovery and Resilience Plans in eight EU Member States

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Key findings from interviews with experts

  • Experts emphasised issues related to an abundance of hospital beds, as well as persisting fragmentation in the health sector.

  • A series of reforms are planned within the healthcare system. This aims to include integrating hospital and primary healthcare institutions and improving the quality of primary care.

  • There is a lack of resources directed towards public health, particularly prevention initiatives. Public health in Lithuania remains highly underfunded, receiving approximately 2% of the entire health budget.

The Lithuanian Recovery and Resilience Plan A short overview

POLICY AREA 1: Resilience to health system threats
Improving quality and accessibility of health services and promoting innovation 148
Long-term care reform 109
Strengthening of emergency responses 11
POLICY AREA 4: Quality and affordable education
Modern education for the acquisition of basic competencies 246.32
Training systems for green and digital transition 37
Development opportunities for adults 18.20
Vocational guidance system 10
POLICY AREA 7: Social protection
Employment sponsoring 108.81
Guaranteed minimum income protection 0.4
POLICY AREA 2: Green transformation
Clean mobility 346.91
Sustainable urban environment 217.8

2022 Country specific recommendations for health equity

Each spring, the European Commission and European Council make Country Specific Recommendations to provide tailored advice to individual Member States on how to boost jobs, growth and investment, while maintaining sound public finances.

Lithuanian Country Specific Recommendations 2022 that are most relevant for health equity

3. [...] Strengthen primary and preventive care. Reduce fragmentation in the planning
and delivery of social services and improve their personalisation and integration with
other services. Improve access to and quality of social housing [...]


  • Suboptimal performance of primary healthcare & investment in preventative care
  • Life expectancy is 5.3 years below EU average
  • Shift to outpatient care will require measures to offset pressure on primary care
  • Shortage of healthcare workers, particularly in rural areas


  • Income inequality remains among the highest in the EU
  • Addressing inequalities in schools and making the teaching profession more attractive could help improve learning outcomes
  • Public expenditure on social protection is persistently low and delivery of social services is fragmented and inefficient
  • Large regional differences in economic development, in the labour market and public services
  • Large influx of displaced people from Ukraine. Assistance with accommodation, employment, social benefits, and financial support provided to those in need


  • Lithuania’s carbon footprint has increased in recent years
  • Energy efficiency of households and industries should be improved to reduce overall energy consumption

Country Report 2022

The accompanying Country Report analyse each EU Member State’s key socioeconomic challenges with the aim of providing a framework for the coordination of social and economic policies across the European Union.

Lithuanian 2022 report contained a number of elements that are directly relevant to health equity.

Project under the RRP

Resilience to health system threats

Policy area 1 aims to increase the sustainability and resilience of Lithuania’s health system, enabling more flexible responses to changing environmental factors and demographic changes. This policy area consists of 3 reforms: improving the quality and availability of services and promoting innovation; reform of the provision of long-term care; and systematic strengthening of the health system’s resilience to emergency situations.

Other project under the Lithuanian Recovery and Resilience Plan

Suggestions for the future

  • Increase investments in public health, particularly health prevention and promotion

  • Better collaboration with primary healthcare centres

  • Incentivise careers within public health

  • Improve competencies of national and local healthcare actors

  • Engage local communities in the implementation of the RRP

  • Tackle health inequalities between rural and developed areas

“Public health is fragmented in Lithuania but I also think that public health is fragmented in the European Union. There is need for more collaboration in this area … Public health shouldn’t be so fragmented.”

Expert at Ministry of Health, Lithuania

“The public health budget has never been as big as that for primary healthcare centres or hospitals. In the future we have to think about this, because public health results are critical for the long-term sustainability of health.”
Expert at Lithuanian Public Health Bureaus Association, Lithuania

This report was produced by EuroHealthNet, the European partnership of organisations, institutes, and authorities working on public health, disease prevention, promoting health and wellbeing, and reducing inequalities. We aim to tackle health inequalities within and between European States through action on the social determinants of health. Read more about us on our website.


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