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UPD: Uninsured citizens in Greece to get free access to medicines

Citizens without insurance will be able to get free access to medicines after a joint decision by the Ministries of Finance and Health was published in the Official Gazette (FEK). “The decision will facilitate access to pharmaceutical system for uninsured and financially weak citizens,” Greek media report.

Eligible to participate in the program are:

  • uninsured Greek citizens, 
  • legally residing Greek expatriates,
  • nationals of  EU member states 
  • national of third countries  who legally and permanently reside in Greece.

Conditions for these patient group to receive free access is that they do not fulfill conditions to issue a “booklet for uninsured”, they are not insured in any public or private fund. Also those insured who have lost their insurance due to debts to national insurance funds. The measure covers also the protected members of these groups.

Responsible for prescribing drugs to the beneficiaries are doctors at public hospitals (ESY) and at primary health care facilities of PEDY.

The drugs  to be used  are based on the List of Drugs according to Law 3816/2010.covered are solely compensation has been paid to the positive list of drugs of Law 3816/2010.

The beneficiaries will have access to the entire spectrum of pharmaceutical care for acute and chronic disease and high-cost drugs, with the same terms, conditions, and charges for prescribed medicine as for insured patients. 

What does it mean in practice? That the Greek state/ministry will pay the same amount of money for drugs for the uninsured as for insured patients.

That is in theoretically the National Health Care System (PEDY) pays 90% or 75% for prescription medicine, while the rest percentage is paid by the insured patient.

Practically, PEDY pays much less and the insured patient pays even 40% or 60% because the former Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis has introduced a retail price system for drugs that do not circulate in Greece in such low prices!

UPDATE: One day later Greek media seem “surprised” that the free access to medicines is not as free as they thought. Health Minister Makis Voridis said that where there is participation for insured patients the same will be valid for the uninsured.

The program is to go into effect after one month.

The cost until the end of 2014 is 100 million euro.

PS I thought to be positive today and do not complain about the Greek reality again.


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