A blow for health

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

One of the first moves of the SYRIZA­led gov­ern­ment fol­low­ing its in­au­gu­ra­tion was to abol­ish the 5-euro ad­mis­sion fee for pa­tients at public hos­pi­tals – ef­fec­tively de­mon­strat­ing its pop­ulist cre­den­tials. No one, how­ever, took the time to ask hos­pi­tal di­rec­tors about the wis­dom of the de­ci­sion. While the amount col­lected by state hos­pi­tals was quite low and those un­able to pay were ex­empt, rev­enues from the ad­mis­sion fee cov­ered a num­ber of needs, es­pe­cially given the huge de­lays in state fund­ing. Since the abo­li­tion of the fee, its im­pact has be­come clear. Blam­ing the coun­try’s cred­i­tors for de­mand­ing its re­turn – which is what Health Min­is­ter Panayi­o­tis Kourou­b­lis did yesterday – might of­fer the gov­ern­ment a way out, but the ar­gu­ment does not do it jus­tice. It would be prefer­able for the ad­min­is­tra­tion to ad­mit its mis­take, re­store the fee and do ev­ery­thing in its power to se­cure a good na­tional health sys­tem for all.

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