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HomeBalkansGreek Doctor’s Union Slates Proposed Health Care Reforms

Greek Doctor’s Union Slates Proposed Health Care Reforms

The Federation of Greek Hospital Doctors’ Associations, ONGE, has criticized the decision of the Ministry of Health to carry out a new reform aimed at increasing the number of Pathologists and General Practitioners, GPs.

OENGE said the reform will lead to the further degradation of already substandard health services and strengthen the migration flow of young doctors.

“There is a visible risk of strengthening the growing stream of young doctors migrating abroad to do residency, due to the assignment to new medical graduates, before they even start residency, of responsibilities that do not belong to them,” said OENGE.

In the best case, what is guaranteed to patients is a basic package of health benefits, prescriptions, and basic tests for some health problems, but the conscription of medical graduates cannot ensure this without training, said OENGE.

The Deputy Health Minister, Irini Agapidaki, last Friday announced the new reform aimed at increasing the number of pathologists and General Practitioners and strengthening the institution of “Personal Physician”.

The reform would abolish the compulsory service of rural doctors and establish the compulsory term of a Personal Physicion, which will last one year and may be carried out in both urban, semi-urban and rural regions.

“In this way, the entire population of the country will be covered with Personal Physicians,” Agapidaki claimed. “There are many vacancies for Pathologists and General Practitioners both in the public and private sectors. It is therefore necessary to provide incentives, so that we have more doctors of these specialties,” she said.

To motivate young doctors to choose General Medicine, or Pathology, they will receive net salaries of 30,000 euros (45,000 gross), more than what is foreseen, alongside significant scientific and professional incentives.

“In this way… we will cover the needs of our country for General Practitioners and Pathologists, both in primary care as well as in hospitals,” Agapidaki stated.

At the same time, financial and scientific incentives will be accompanied by reduced taxes, which is already on offer for medics who repatriate from Cyprus and Britain.

But OENGE said 30,000 euros is not a strong enough incentive for a new doctor, when the working conditions of doctors in the public health system are constantly deteriorating.

It also says cutting taxes for doctors who return home to Greece to work in the public health system “punishes those doctors who stayed in Greece … during the pandemic, and also leads to the creation of multi-speed doctors in the public health system.”

OENGE has called for the cancellation of the plans and the rapid recruitment of permanent doctors in hospitals and primary care. It also urges the announcement of all vacant organizational positions and appointments under urgent procedures and the doubling of the salaries of all doctors.

Source : Balkan Insight

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