Why the Misinformation and PR Stunts?

Photograph from http://ygeiaonline.gr/

11 August 2016Helliniko

Why the Misinformation and PR Stunts?

This summer we are witnesses to organized disinformation by the Greek Ministry of Health concerning access of the uninsured to the Greek Public Health System and to “cost free” medication and diagnostic exams.  A lot has been promised, but unfortunately, much less delivered.  We have pledged to speak about this when we have a fuller picture of the ministerial decisions and the legal framework to implement the new law that gives (?) access to the public health system to the uninsured.

Meanwhile, we have to give a passing mention to some of the things happening, such as the hoopla over the inauguration of a hospital in Santorini.  The hospital has been presented as a public hospital but in reality the management of it has been taken on by a corporate entity.  The staffing for this hospital is provided by sending staff from ever understaffed public hospitals such as “Attiko”.  Read more here (in Greek).

We have two serious questions to put to the leadership of the Ministry of Health:

  • Why was the management of the hospital given to a corporate entity?
  • When the hospital opened the Health Center on this island was closed. How is it that a PUBLIC health entity is subsumed by a corporate entity?

For the Ministry of Health to indulge in cheap PR stunts means they need to show something positive.  They have trapped themselves in following austerity policies These policies leave no room for substantial funding of public health.  They have no budget (in some cases, the budget is literally zero) for hiring staff and no margin to implement serious health policies.  The gap is being closed by public relations and by seeming to be doing something, like the inauguration of the hospital at Santorini.

If the Santorini hospital operates as it should, would be there a need for the Ministry of Health to indulge in PR stunts?  The question answers itself.

Why does the Ministry of Health, and the government need these publicity campaigns while at the same time there are cases of uninsured patients (and cancer patients among them) who are further incapacitated by co-pays for hospitalization, medicines and exams for which they should not have to pay?  Unfortunately for the Ministry and for the government, we have plenty of examples and details of serious complaints.  We’ll be back soon with more information.

Until then, read here, and here, (in Greek)


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