Waste con­tin­ues to thrive in health sec­tor

Greece is­sues sev­eral times more pre­scrip­tions, re­fer­rals than other EU states

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Some 65 mil­lion med­i­cal pre­scrip­tions for a to­tal of 200 mil­lion pack­ets of med­i­ca­tion are is­sued ev­ery year in Greece, along with 100 mil­lion re­fer­rals for med­i­cal tests, sev­eral times more than in fel­low Euro­pean Union states, ac­cord­ing to data made pub­lic yes­ter­day by the coun­try’s main health­care provider, EOPYY, and the Euro­pean Health­care Fraud and Cor- rup­tion Net­work, EHFCN.

The num­ber of pre­scrip­tions is­sued in Greece are vir­tu­ally at the same level as those in Spain, which has a pop­u­la­tion five times the size of Greece’s.

As for CAT and MRI scans, more than 1.5 mil­lion re­fer­rals were is­sued in Greece over the last year – 100 per­cent above the av­er­age rate in Western Euro­pean coun­tries.

How­ever, the scope for cut­backs in Greece is clear. The en­force­ment of new guide­lines for health pro­fes­sion­als re­sulted in a 25 per­cent re­duc­tion in the num­ber of re­fer­rals for CAT and MRI scans last month while the amount by which spend­ing on pre­scrip­tion medicines was over­shot dropped by 71.5 per­cent in Oc­to­ber.

The fig­ures were re­leased yes- ter­day by EOPYY Chair­man Dim­itris Kon­tos and EHFCN ex­ec­u­tive Paul Vincke, ahead of the EHFCN’s 10th con­fer­ence, which starts in Athens to­day.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, Health Min­is­ter Makis Voridis said the bud­get for state hos­pi­tals would be trimmed next year by 160 mil­lion euros, to 1.61 bil­lion euros from 1.45 bil­lion euros.

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