Greek Health Minister Wary of Frail National Health System

hospitalGreek Health Minister Andreas Xanthos addressed the poor condition of the Greek National Health System (ESY) during an interview with Greek newspaper Kathimerini.

“A large number of clinics have barely enough staff, so the smallest loss could upset the balance,” Kathimerini quotes Xanthos as saying.

However, the minister added that the trend of continuous reductions in ESY staff is being reversed as 3,400 people are scheduled to be hired by state clinics by 2016, on a permanent basis.

Xanthos noted that this is the first time in six years that ESY is hiring.

He further noted that state hospital expense limits for 2015 have been increased by 150 million euros.

Xanthos said one of the main challenges is preventing doctors from taking jobs abroad and claimed he wants to send a message to young doctors in Greece that they can have a decent future in the country.

Kathimerini reports that there are currently 20,239 vacancies at Greek state hospitals, 6,197 of those vacancies are for doctor’s positions and 14,042 are for nursing positions.

In the face of this workforce shortage, doctors across the country are being relocated to hospitals in an effort to keep hospitals running.