Greek pensioners stormed the Ministry of Health in Athens on Tuesday, protesting against further cuts in pensions and the on-going crisis in health care that leaves insured patients liable for costs.
Ekathimerini reported the pensioners briefly scuffled with police as they took their protest to the Ministry of Health. Protesting pensioners are not just concerned with the latest plans to reduce pensions still further.
The crisis in health-care has resulted in insured patients having to pay for the full cost of medicines, if they are available. Money must also be found to pay for visits to the doctor, all crippling costs for those struggling with ever-decreasing pensions.
The pensioners, numbering around 200, requested a meeting with Health Minister Andreas Lykourentzos, who declined their request. When a meeting was denied the pensioners broke through security to storm the building, but were prevented from entering the minister's office.
Keep Talking Greece reported Dimos Koumpouris, chairman of IKA-pensioners Association told the angry crowd “The minister called us ‘bullies’, he said he doesn’t believe we have to pay for drugs from our own pockets.”
As from Sept 1., pharmacies will no longer prescribe drugs on credit to insured patients who must pay the full costs up-front before attempting to claim a refund from insurance companies.