Quarterly scientific journal

Health status in Greece during the economic crisis

Elpiniki Biskanaki , George Charalambous

Abstract

The advent of the economic crisis brought consequences for the health of the general public with the result that the level of the health of the general public declined as did the level of the National Health Service itself. Recent epidemiological analyses indicate increased morbidity and mortality in the Greek population. Unemployment rates, which are growing geometrically, have contributed to an increase in the number of people who have no health insurance. This in turn causes the burden on the public health care units to increase because of the financial inability of the citizens to turn to private health providers. Due to the reduction in state expenditure, the suspension in hiring new staff or replacing those who have left, has resulted in the remaining staff being placed under great strain. Because of the crisis, and with the aim of restructuring the National Health System (NHS), reforms were instigated the first of which was the creation of a new health care system EOPPY(National Agency for Health Care Facilities) in 2011 and the implementation of new policies in the pricing of medicines and health services. Attempting to address the economic crisis within the framework of the health services requires financial consolidation and restructuring of the NHS. This should be achieved by strategic planning of needs, by the monitoring and evaluating of input and output and by policies controlling the abuse of health care and services by the general public. Despite the current negative impact of financial-credit crisis on health and health care, the same economic crisis can be a springboard to implement reforms that will strengthen the quality of the NHS and Public Health.

Keywords: Health, National Health, health policy, economic crisis, Greece

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