One in two doctors in Greece considers that working conditions are bad, while bullying, demeaning remarks and gender discrimination are frequent in Greek hospitals.
The bullying and discrimination in the healthcare sector in Greece is considerable, according to a study designed by the Hellenic Medical Association UK in collaboration with researcher Effie Simos at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the National School of Public Health, and conducted in the form electronic questionnaire from December 2014 to March 2015.
The survey involved 1,339 participants of which 31.9 percent work in the National Health System, 33.1 percent at private hospitals and 25 percent at university hospitals.
Only 44.3 of respondents said they are “very or somewhat satisfied” about the prospects of their profession. At least one in two would welcome the possibility of seeking employment in another country: 30.3 percent are “very positive” about the prospect and 26.3 percent “somewhat positive.” The idea of working abroad was rejected only by one in six surveyed (15.2 percent).
Also, the percentage of those who would like to start their own, private practice is 54 percent.
Approximately half of female doctors who participated in the study feel that they didn’t have the same opportunities as their male colleagues when choosing a specialty. Specifically, 31 percent responded, “could be better” and 17.2 said that they clearly didn’t have the same opportunities. Even worse is the picture in surgical specialties where only 28.8 percent said they had the same opportunities as their male colleagues.
Furthermore, one in three men (34.2 percent) and two in five women (42.2 percent) reported having experienced bullying during their employment. Incidents of sexual harassment have happened to 9 percent of men and 34.2 percent of women. Also, 50.4 percent of men have been targets for rumors and gossip and the same happened to 58.6 percent of women.
Thirty percent of men and 35.4 percent of women have been subjected to demeaning comments and ridicule at work in the hospital, while 28.5 percent of men and 34.5 percent of women felt that they have been excluded by their colleagues.
Commenting on the findings, the chairman of the Hellenic Medical Association UK, Doctor at Imperial College of London Grigoris Makris said: “Our study… should serve as a springboard for the Ministry of Health and the medical and nursing associations to further investigate this issue in the context of the general need to upgrade the working conditions and education in Greek hospitals. Anything less simply shows indifference and complicity in a situation that affects us all.”