February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

“We need to have more specialists in the Personal Doctor system,” Health Minister Thanos Plevris said.

Speaking about the serious shortage of doctors in children’s hospitals, which creates long queues for operations, the minister noted that the composition of anesthesiologists is slowly being restored (active recruitment is underway), and some patients have been distributed to other clinics for planned operations.

“Pediatric surgeries are usually more complex as more staff may be needed. At the same time, we were forced to redistribute (send) those who need them to “transfer” them to other clinics,” Mr. Plevris said. “We are trying to fill in all the gaps. We are developing a new plan,” the minister said.

“The list (waiting list) has always existed, it’s just that now we are getting worse because we didn’t perform operations due to the pandemic,” added Mr. Plevris. Regarding the shortage of staff in children’s hospitals, the minister said that the places of anesthesiologists are being filled.

“There has been a reduction in the “waiting list” of 3,000 patients in Hagia Sophia, and now there are only 2,000 children who need surgery. The remaining 1000 were made in other clinics. But it shouldn’t be. This is a failure of the system,” admitted the Minister of Health.

Talking about public health reform with the introduction of the institute “Personal Doctor”Mr. Plevris focused on the fact that 1,000,000 free consultations have been held since the start of the measure.

We need more private doctors

“With the full implementation of the innovation, hospitals will be unloaded,” said the Minister of Health. At the same time, Mr. Plevris explained that at the moment there are 3,400 doctors and 4,700,000 registered citizens in the system.

“We want more participation in the program of private doctors who are paid up to 65,000 euros per year for this service. Another 1,000 doctors are needed to fully normalize the system,” he stressed.

As Mr Pleuris stated, 70% of the population over the age of 60 have registered in the “Personal Doctor” system. And 40% of citizens in the age group of 17-49 years. “Gradually, the system is getting better, so that the level of medical prescriptions becomes much more rational,” he said, adding that “citizens accepted the innovation” when they registered on the corresponding platform.

The importance of prevention for health

Mr. Plevris referred to the programs of preventive examinations (dispanserization), which are being expanded more and more, for example, cardiological examinations have been added to it.

“Under the ‘Fofi Gennimata programme’, we have now done 60,000 mammograms and we have about 4,000 women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer,” he said.

As for the lack of medicines, even for children, Mr. Plevris said that the problem was caused by the fact that medicines are cheaper in Greece.

Mr Pleuris also touched questions about transplantationstating that the ministry took the structure that exists in Spain, which is the first country in the field of transplantation, as a basis and intends to implement it in Greece (which will certainly “pay off”).

“Now a kidney transplant patient will live 10 years longer, and the state will save about 600,000 euros from the money allocated for hemodialysis. We are improving the quality of human life, and it is very important to reach the European level,” the minister summed up his speech.

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