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Thessaloniki: 6 uninsured Kidney patients have died, 18 wandering like ghosts from hospital to hospital for dialysis

A shocking revelation: Six uninsured kidney patients have died since 2011 in the broader area of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece and another 18 without insurance are struggling to undergo their 3-times weekly dialysis in the public hospitals. The harsh austerity measures of the Troika-years in the health care sector is to blame for the this dramatic situation. Personnel shortages, infrastructure deficiencies and under-funding in public hospitals, hikes in patients’ self-participation in medication, welfare benefits cuts. But also the increased long-time unemployment that have left chronic ill patients in dire needs. The previous government decision to allow access to health care to people without insurance has not efficiently solved the problem for the most vulnerable groups of the society.

The shocking revelations were made by the Thessaloniki Association of Kidney Patients during a press conference at a scientific meeting on Nephrology  on Friday.

According to the president of the association Christos Karagiozis:

• six kidney patients without health insurance have died from 2011 onwards

• 18 kidney patients without insurance struggle to get their dialysis in public hospitals and thus only when they are on duty.

• end-stage Kidney patients have no hope for a transplant as they have to wait  up to 12 years. Average life expectancy is 7 years. The number of 1,170 kidney patients awaiting transplantation is 1,170. Kidney transplants has decreased over the last 10 years, while in 2014 only 168 transplants were performed.

“Infrastructure deficiencies, human resources shortage and under-funding in public hospitals are to blame for this situation,” Karagiozis said and added:

Medical equipment is inadequate and antiquated in all regions of the country, the cost of maintenance of equipment is higher than the cost of buying new new technology.

• The Kidney Unit in the public hospital in Karditsa operates without permanent nephrologist

• There is only one nephrologist in the public hospital of Katerini

Regarding the issue of the patients’ participation in after dialysis drugs, Karagiozis stressed that in the recent austerity years.

He also accused the previous government that it left without signing new framework for public hospitals for the supply of dialysis filters.

Approximately 9,350 kidney patients from a total of 10,000 across the country undergo dialysis three times per week. 650 undergo peritoneal dialysis.

The cost for the public assets is €150 per dialysis, that is €450 per week per patient.

In Thessaloniki, there are Kidney Units operated in five large hospitals, while there are also 10 private centers.

Insured patients have all their cost covered whether in public or private Kidney units. Patients cover by welfare are allowed to public hospitals only. Uninsured patients may use the dialysis units of the public hospitals only when they are on duty.

Karagiozis pointed out to the fatal dangers of this kind of dialysis providing system for the uninsured patients. He said that the hospitals do not have the patients’ files and that the dialysis has to performed in a different dialysis machine each and every time.

“These 18 uninsured patients wander like ghosts from hospitals to hospital,” Karagiozis said in a dramatic tone.


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  1. “The harsh austerity measures of the Troika-years in the health care sector is to blame for the this dramatic situation.”

    Serious? – Then you cannot sink any deeper with your Syriza propaganda lies.

    When the Greek healthcare sector is underfunded, the Greek government is simply allocating its funds (received from the Troika – no other creditor would lend you sh*t any longer) to all the wrong entities.

    Too many civil servants, too many pensioners retireing too early and way too high military spending.

    Putting the blame now on the Troika shows now all corruption in your country. Unable to self-critisism, unable to reform – just blame games all over.

    And this makes Greece a failed state just like all the other banana republics (where the dictators also usually blame “dark foreign forces” for all the misery they created all by themselves).

    A very simple formula auterity will only end, once Greece can finance itself over private investors / markets and does not need public money from Europe any longer. – But you get farther and farther away from this every day and will end up as Europe’s cadgers.

    • Unable to self-critisism, … just blame games all over

      Pots and kettles spring to mind….
      Mya you be of Germanic, British or whatever originin, reality is that your constant display of downright hatred, your inability to see the humanity behind the figures, your unwillingness to even consider any alternative to anything and your claim to have the God given right to tell everybody not just what to do, but how to do it is the finest display of a superiority complex ever. Calling people who are unable to pay for their medical treatment, through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, and who die because of this “cadgers” is however a new, even more disgusting low for you. Congratulations. This inhumane, extremely racist comment should be enough to bar you from every forum and commentary on the internet. There is simply no place in the world, or the internet, for people displaying such a dispicable, disgusting attitude.

      • Like every good communist, you are resorting to censorship for everybody calling their propaganda lies.

        And still you are remarkably thin skinned, when it comes to the fact that the Greek problems are of a Greek origin and need a Greek solution.

        Every reader of this blog can compare my comments and your answers to them, which consist mainly of ad-hominem arguments.

        The bottom line of your explanaition is always the same: dark foreign forces (mostly German Nazis) are strangling the Greek people, who are suffering without any responsibility for the Greek mess. The culprits are always the others.

        The fact that a Greek active workforce of under 3.5 Mio. should aliment the rest of the 11 Mio. popululation simply does not work on a Wesern European level any longer is simply neglected. Better to blame Austerity and the Troika, or both.

        If your economy should work, you would need a higher productivity and per capita GDP than even Germany for financing the jobless, the completely out of proportion public sector and the Greek army of too early retired pensioners. – Only thing: with 21% industry, 67% services, and the rest agriculture, this won’t work.

        Knowing this – can you imaginge how primitive and stupid the Troika and Austerity bashing seems to me? And how downright idiotic the Syriza negotiation strategy of a total confrontation with the lenders of last resort (who are just waiting on a justification to jump off board)? – Likely not.

        Because this means to admit that the very ones who have killed the Greek economy with unrealistic demands (near doubling the average salary from 2001 to 2008) and the world championship of labor wars, early retirements and a public sector which is blown up like in a Subsahara country – the very unionists and union cadres formerly in PASOK and now in SYRIZA – have to carry the main part of the responsibility for the Greek incompetitiveness.

        As long as the Greek voter is not able to understand and accept this and takes adequate corrective action, Greece will stay the cadger of Europe.

        And it is becoming worse for Greece by the day, as nobody in the whole world is willing to finance the gap between wealth earned and wealth consumed any longer.

        Isn’t it a clear sign, how fundamentally wrong the inital assessment of the new Greek government was, to be able to form a joint European opposition against the creditors governments? Amateurish, to put it mildly.

        But keep on playing the blame game with finger pointing outside Greece. – Let’s see, what chnage this will bring you. My bet: none. Everything stays as it always was in Greece, as – after all – Syriaza is just another instance of the populism and clientilism the Greek voter fancies so much.

        • keeptalkinggreece

          slowly I consider to charge you a fee for allowing you to post your “thoughts” in this blog.

          • The rantings of an uninformed lunatic are not really very helpful to anyone, with the possible exception of researchers in psychiatry. I imagine it is fascinating for them to observe how a crippled mind can distort reality into some ethnically-based hate speech. But as far as I am concerned, the contents of a toilet bowl are more enlightening than the stuff that this person forces on the world.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            he has gone beyond any tolerance limits. and yes, he maybe a psychopath.

          • It’s a bit rich for this specimen of egocentric intolerance suffering from a massive superiority complex to be calling other posts “propaganda”. It would be funny if it wasn’t for the fact that this individual also expects to be taken serious… May I suggest a solution for this? A very long walk, of a very short pier…

  2. cyril mcdonnell

    the clergy are treated as civil servants and are paid by the state how silly is that???

  3. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    “Cadgers”? What a fathasuckin racist douche bag. Raki happy hour?

  4. Regardless of the reason, no-one should be refused medical treatment, particularly life-saving treatment based on whether they are able to pay for so-called medical insurance.

    Perhaps we should tax heavily all politicians, cut their expenses, perks and get rid of all their bodyguards and use of police and state infrastructure. The political classes presently represent a huge strain (or stain) on government spending. That would save the state millions of euros per year – enough to sustain a small kidney dialysis unit for years to come.
    The top 3% of taxpayers can also afford a one-off state payment towards the upkeep of hospitals and clinics. What about the medical insurance companies themselves, they have a moral obligation to ensure nothing like this ever happens because most people who can afford medical insurance do buy it; medical insurance companies make lots of money simply due to the present setup of Greek medical care based on pay as you go or yearly subscription..
    What about all the troika austerity loans that came into the country via the banks and just as quickly exited the country as payment for….German & French weapons of mass destruction!! For people dying of diseases which are treatable, spending these huge sums of money on weapons is sad to say the least. Most so-called western European countries are the same, profit before people. How much longer do we stand for this? The answer is simple, people before profit, a new set of societal values.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      one solution for the health care austerity is to catch those politicians & their cronies who wasted millions and billions of public money in the public health sector via overcharging material.they should bring the money back and avoid jail.