Doctors shift on card payments
The Athens Medical Association (ISA) appeared to scale down its objections to a government proposal that patients pay for their visits by credit or debit card, as part of a plan to crack down on tax evasion, describing talks yesterday with Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis as “productive.”
Doctors had objected to the proposed measure, claiming that it would add to their costs and could violate the privacy of medical records. They also argued that elderly patients are not familiar with the use of credit cards.
ISA tempered its stance, which provoked widespread criticism, after the ministry proposed solutions to tackle concerns. It proposed negotiations between doctors and banks to reduce the cost of implementing the new system. To overcome privacy concerns, it proposed that each doctor be issued with a special code which will be used in all their transactions. It is likely that some categories of patients, such as the elderly, will be granted exemption.