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article imageGreek health crisis: Insured patients must pay for doctors, drugs

By Katerina Nikolas     Sep 2, 2012 in Health
The crisis in Greek health care has hit another critical juncture. As from Sept. 1., insured patients must pay their own prescription costs, plus a fee to visit a doctor.
Pharmacists owe a fortune to their suppliers as they have not been recompensed for providing medicines on credit to insured patients. Now patients who have paid their insurance contributions must now pay the full price for medicines, with the vague hope of being able to recover the cost further down the line from their insurance company.
Ta Nea reported doctors and pharmacists are protesting against non-payment of funds from the National Organization for Health Care Provision (EOPYY).
Additionally a fee of €20 will be levied for a visit to a doctor who works within EOPYY, according to Keep Talking Greece. Previously only private doctors fees were payable, unless the infamous brown envelopes are taken into account.
From Sept 3., doctors will launch a go-slow action, Ekathimerini reports.
Digital Journal reported the government has just proposed additional cuts to the health budget of almost €1.4 billion. This will intensify the drastic problems the sector is experiencing. Further cuts to social security and pensions may leave the cost of drugs out of reach to many, already struggling on reduced incomes.
The health care crisis extends beyond the cost of the actual drugs. Many drugs are simply not available or difficult to source. Reuters recently carried a report on the difficulty of sourcing drugs and the rationing of basic medical materials. At the same time many hospitals are stretched by the necessity of hospitalizing undocumented migrants tested positive for communicable diseases.
Meanwhile EOPYY has stated it will not be able to pay further debts from the autumn.
More about Greek health crisis, Greece, insured patients, Pharmacists
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