It took the Greek Health Ministry almost a year to find out that public hospitals managers were illegally raising a levy of €5 from each patient seeking the accident and emergency departments. The relevant law provided that a fee of €5 would be paid only by people seeking the outpatient clinics at the hospitals. After public hospitals doctors repeatedly complained about such practice, the general secretary of the health Ministry was obliged to send a corrective circular to hospitals administration.
Now the question is: Will the hospitals return the illegally collected money to the patients? Or the small fees will simply disappear due to ‘technical problems’ (see: bureaucracy)? And be written down as profit in the balance sheets of Greece’s public hospitals.
Of course, there is one simple way to return the money: through credits in the patients’ tax office accounts.
The Association of Physicians Working at public Hospitals had objected the practice wanting insurers patients paying an extra fee from the very first moment. Now they will start to mobilize against this practice as of February 13/2012 . further they will try to cut down costs of certain laboratory checks that are charged with even 100 euro.