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Greek health system crumbles under weight of crisis

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posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 08:41 AM
Whats usualy forgotten is that behind all the big headlines you see about europe
there are normal people going though hard times.

As everyone is watching the greek election whats happening on the streets
is missed by most of MSM as the big storys get more attention.

Greece's rundown state hospitals are cutting off vital drugs, limiting non-urgent operations and rationing even basic medical materials for exhausted doctors as a combination of economic crisis and political stalemate strangle health funding.

With Greece now in its fifth year of deep recession, trapped under Europe's biggest public debt burden and dependent on international help to keep paying its bills, the effects are starting to bite deeply into vital services.

"It's a matter of life and death for us," said Persefoni Mitta, head of the Cancer Patients' Association, recounting the dozens of calls she gets a day from Greeks needing pricey, hard-to-find cancer drugs. "Why are they depriving us of life?"

The lack of money to pay for equipment effects everything.

Outside one of the 133 state hospitals - whose managers have sometimes been appointed as supporters of whichever political party was in power at the time - a banner put up by protesting staff reads "Hospitals Belong to the People". Inside, its gloomy labyrinth of corridors tell a different story.

A doctor at the university hospital in the northwestern Athens suburb of Chaidari cites a lack of basic examining room supplies in her own department, such as cotton wool, catheters, gloves and paper used to cover the examining table.

The shortage of paper, which is thrown out after each patient has used it, means corners have to be cut on hygiene.

And with shortages there are scum looking to make money off those
who can pay.

Even before the crisis, public hospitals were under strain and the notorious cash-filled "fakelaki" or "little envelope" which patients have had to hand over to get good treatment have become a byword for the corruption in the system.

As the crisis has bitten, ever more Greeks can no longer afford to pay. Rocketing unemployment has meant many have fallen behind with insurance contributions or have trouble paying the 10-25 percent of prescription costs not covered by the system.

"The health system has shut its door in their face," said Katerina Avloniti, a 27-year-old psychologist at a free medical clinic in Athens whose patients are no longer eligible to get a blood test, a cardiogram or a simple check up.

Greek health system crumbles under weight of crisis

The easy to say they deserve it but to blame ordinary greek people for the mess the country is
in is like saying the average american is to blame for its goverment $15 trillion debit.

edit on 15/6/2012 by skuly because: colour yer again

posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 08:46 AM
The black market is gonna explode, people will use peoples illnesses and they will pay if they need their meds, No matter which ones legal or deemed narcotics.


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