Monday, January 26, 2015

Solution for Austerity Cuts in Health Care

If your government is running out of money and cutting services to balance the budget, what
do you do?

Elect a liberal.

Greece has been teetering on bankruptcy for years thanks to too much government and too many social give away programs. All that is about to change as a result of this weekends election
In Greece’s biggest hospital, the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens, conditions were worse than those I have seen in developing countries.
The moment the hospital doors open on ‘emergency’ days, people flood in. The collapse in official primary and community health care services means everyone who needs healthcare comes to A+E - whether for a major accident, medication for a long term condition or to get their child immunized. Staff told me that serious trauma cases often have to wait hours for X-rays and treatment due to understaffing and that, if too many cases come in at the same time, people die before they can be treated. - Open Democracy

The "austerity program" has saved the country but at what price? 
The government had closed all the polyclinics then reopened some recently but with only 30% of the doctors that they need. Whereas previously there had been 150 doctors providing services to the district, there were now only 50. A polyclinic for a population of 400,000 people had no gynaecologists, no dermatologists, and only two cardiologists.
 “We want our doctors back” – said one of the volunteers I spoke to. Thousands of doctors have left the country. Those that remain – including senior hospital doctors - earn about €12,000 ( $13,400 US) a year.
The good news?

Greater access to health care (presumably).

The bad news?

Eventually Greece will run out of money (again) and they are back to square one. There is no free lunch.

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