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Greek health care austerity: thugs’ games with the pain of the other

That these issues are hardly mentioned by mainstream media, it does not mean that theses issues do not exist. Month in, month out, thousands of Greeks get confronted with the cuts in health care. Cuts occurring in subtle and crooked way. Every time an insured Greek goes to a doctor or a pharmacy chances are 9:10 that he will experience a new shock. Cuts in prescription medicine and other supplies essential for the troubled Greek patient. Worse when the patient is a chronic ill.

Doctors cannot prescribe drugs for cancer patients

Just today, I read of radiologists and nuclear physicians to have been excluded from the system of electronic prescription. Dozens – if not more – doctors and patients were shocked on Wednesday to see that the physicians could not prescribe contrast agents for radio-graphic checks or radio substances essential for special cancer treatment.

Website iatopedia, notes that dozens of physicians in major oncological hospitals would not help their patients, while they got not convincing explanation by the Health Ministry when they demanded one.

Insurance fund does not pay for surgery after breast cancer

The pharmacist in my neighborhood was telling me the other day, the national health care service (EOPYY) does not pay anymore the cost for plastic surgery for the rehabilitation after an amputation due to breast cancer.

Funds pay prices for drugs not existent in Greece

A friend called me two days ago to tell me the following story: every month she gets two packs of a specific medicine, a generic drug. Prescribed by the IKA doctor. Commercial cost €17 euro.

On Monday she had to pay 8 euro per pack. Why? Because according to the laster drug price list issued by EOPYY , the fund only €9  for the ‘main substance’ contained in the drug. The friend asked the pharmacist to find for her the cheapest drug, generic or not, with the same substance for 9 euro per pack.  Surprise! There was not a single drug with this substance and at this price in circulation in Greece!  The cheapest drug in Greece costs 17 euro!

“Maybe this price – 9 euro – is valid in Bulgaria,” suggested the pharmacist, with the friend replying “then the Ministry should import this drug from Bulgaria.”

The mysterious criteria setting the price for the substance are probably hidden deep inside the Troika and Greek Health Ministry files.


The fun at the end: an EOPYY doctor was telling me that he got slammed because he was prescribing 3 diapers per day for an old and bed-ridden patient. “How many times does the patient urinate and have bowel movements?,” the doctor was asked by the administration.

With the latest prescription reforms, diapers prescription has been cancelled all together. I don’t know if it was IMF’s Thomsen or the German chancellor who personally ordered this cut.

But I hope that the bed-ridden patient – and many others like him- will not be charged with an extra cost of 50 euro per month, just because this doctor was unable give a convincing suggestion about his patients’ needs.

PS No, Troika and their Greek helpers do not cut pensions and salaries anymore. They just increase your expenses.

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