German Doctors Compare Greek Health Care System to War Zone

    social clinicEight doctors from Germany who visited several Greek hospitals reported that the situation in the health care system in Greece is shocking, likening it to a war zone.

    “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.


    1. If this is a war zone where is the UN, WHO and Doctors Without Borders? Yes the system is in crisis and it appears to be a war zone. But it is our crisis and our war zone to fix since no one else is willing to or can assist. Long striking doctors asking for the public’s help is falling upon “deaf ears” because of the lack medication and care. Violate the Hippocratic Oath and a doctor becomes just another protester nothing more or less.

    2. One of the better effects of this current dilemma is that Greeks have cut back on non-lifesaving medications considerably. Not withstanding those dire cases where certain people sadly need certain drugs–sometimes unavailable or presently just too expensive, there were apparently many who were just plain over-medicated using pharmaceuticals unnecessarily, simply because they were cheaper and readily available.

      One of the most alarming facts to come out of recent studies concerning the 5 year long crises is the number of cases if HIV among chronic heroin addicts who can not afford sterile needles or the injectible substitutes for their their addiction. Unchecked and poorly regulated prostitution has also added severely to the present HIV epidemic.

    3. As usual, whenever socialists get “control” of anything, they blame someone else when it breaks. It’s getting so bad in Greece that a black market is developing, health workers are shaking down relatives of critical care patients for more money in order to give them the care they need, especially for getting the drugs they need.

      Who created the shortage of care and drugs? The government.


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