No, it’s not a joke. However I thought to start the day with this story, because reading it makes you wanna live nowhere else but in Greece 🙂 Speaking at a health care conference in Athens, Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras told the audience that Ireland and Portugal seek the ways how the Greek government manage to keep the level of services in the health sector – despite continuous austerity measures and recession.
Yiannis Stournaras’ success model
“The success of of the Greek government in maintaining the welfare indicator of the Greek citizens in relation to other European countries is so big, that Ireland and Portugal want to copy the model,” Stournaras, claimed.
“They saw how we maintain the level of our prosperity and they envy us throughout Europe”
Apparently Stournaras has not heard yet of chronic-ill who stopped taking medicine because they cannot afford to buy it. Neither did he hear about patients who must wait 6-8 weeks to get an appointment with an EOPYY doctor. And of course, never has he heard of the pharmacists protests that push hundreds of thousands of low incomers to pay life-saving medication form they own pockets, if they have the money to do it.
No, we don’t mention the dubious generics drugs that flooded the market here and that despite the fact that they are generics certain categories of chronic-ill have to pay a 25% own additional contribution.
We do not mention either that since the unification of several insurance funds to National Health Care Organisation (EOPYY) even a low pensioner sees every month 30 euro less, deducted from his pension as a contribution to the health wonder called EOPYYiiiiiiiii!
It is also understandable we do not mention here the shortage of personnel and material in the state hospitals, then we do not want to scare tourists…
Nevertheless, the bragging of Stournaras was answered by those having a more realistic picture about the situation in Greece than the Finance Minister or any government minister of the health sector.
The vice president of the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association noted that the pharmaceutical expenditure has been reduced by 45% compared with 2009, while by 2014 the decline is calculated to reach 65%!
The dean of the National School of Public Health pointed out that -contrary to what is alleged by Stournaras- Health level of the Greeks has diminished, as valued by the citizens themselves, because of borrowing, unemployment and reduced income. Especially the latter, leads patients to postpone or cancel necessary health services, because there is no additional money anymore to be spent of the health sector.
PS We assume that the assets of Yiannis Stournaras allow him to come up for any costs in case of emergency or even seek health services in the private sector. We mean, in worst case, he could sell his stone villa on the beautiful island of Syros. Of course, we do not wish that Stournaras will ever get confronted either with a health problen nor with the neccesity to sell his villa.