“If such brutal austerity measures had been implemented anywhere else, society would have collapsed,” said the German doctors. However, they stated that the social clinics and pharmacies of solidarity across Greece filled them with hope.
The Greek health system, which was never the best, is becoming worse and worse since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008. The austerity measures that the Greek government has imposed include cuts in the wages of employees and doctors working in public hospitals as well as cuts in hospital funding which leads to shortages of basic materials.
The hospital fee introduced in order to find alternative sources of revenue for the Greek health sector, is hindering access to medical care as many patients can’t afford it. Furthermore, increasing unemployment, cuts in wages and unemployment benefits result in citizens not being able to buy expensive medication.
Meanwhile, the conflict between the doctors of EOPYY, the country’s main healthcare provider, and the Greek Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis continues. Greek doctors react to the reforms in the primary health sector, including the closure of EOPYY polyclinics and the placing of EOPYY doctors into a mobility scheme which foresees forced transfers and layoffs.
On Sunday, EOPYY doctors reacting against the government’s policy occupied several polyclinics refusing to hand over their control and equipment. They have also announced further mobilizations and have asked Greek citizens to support their struggle.