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Free prescription medication for low-income Greek pensioners cut from Jan 1

More than 600,000 low-income pensioners in Greece will have to pay for their medication from 1. January 2021.  The purchase of prescription medication without one’s participation was in effect when the poverty allowance (EKAS) was cut due to third bailout agreement.

The provisional measure for prescription drugs free of charge ends on December 31, 2020 as provided by Article 2 of Law 4655/2020.

Despite pressure from pensioners’ organizations, the government has not made any move so far to extend the beneficial provision.

It should be noted that these are retirees with a gross pension of up to 500 euros.

According to official data from the Labor Ministry, the low-income pensioners affected are 606,280.

UPDATE: A day later, on Tuesday, the Prime Minister posted on social media that the free prescriprion will be extended for the whole 2021.

PS I can recall when EKAS was cut in 2011 and self-participation in prescription was introduced in 2013 the monthly expenses for my late mother who suffered from dementia rose to 150 euros. Her pension was 490 gross and 430 net after solidarity tax and health care contribution and this and that. She was not entitled to “disabled benefits” although she was in need of care and assistance 24/7/365 and would starve if she was not fed. She could be dragged 2-3 steps from wheelchair to the couch or bed. For the Greek benefits system a patient suffering from this horrible degenerative illness had to be 100% bed-ridden to be entitled to maximum 300 euros allowance.

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One comment

  1. Its for crying isnt it,this total disregard from central and local governments for the poor,old and infirm and its a sad miserable last few years for so many people in their lives.Greece is one of the biggest spenders on defense with NATO but cuts to the bone the social care for basic human rights of its citizens and its now sadly the norm for most of this planet that we live upon.