Lack of healthcare funding in Greece is putting patients’ lives at risk

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 11 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j93
  1. Julianna Photopoulos
  1. Athens

Greece’s public health sector is facing major shortages of staff, medical supplies, and equipment after seven years of austerity measures, and latest figures show an increase in numbers of life threatening infections and deaths.

“Our public health system is in meltdown owing to continual cutbacks in healthcare,” said Michalis Giannakos, head of the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees. “Hospitals are underfunded and understaffed, putting patients’ lives at risk. People who might otherwise survive are dying.”

Latest available figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control for 2011-12 showed that about 9% of patients admitted to hospitals in Greece developed hospital acquired infections, accounting for an estimated 3000 deaths a year.1 …

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