The national portal for people with disabilities (epan.gov.gr), and the Centers for Certification of Disabilities (KEPA) for citizen services will resolve the problem of physical access and exhausting in-person procedures, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday.
At the presentation of the e-services, the premier referred to the evaluation system for people with disabilities that involves periodic examinations by committees, saying, “Why must someone go through repeated examinations for a problem that will accompany them the rest of their lives? Why could we not call on digital technology to simplify the lives of fellow citizens we should care for more than others and prioritize serving them? How is it possible to summon them to a service dedicated to people with disabilities and have these services be inaccessible?”
The premier also assured people with disabilities and their families that this would not be a temporary help but a policy with guaranteed funding from several sources.
Labor & Social Affairs Minister Kostis Chatzidakis spoke of the digital services that were introduced for all insurance issues and KEPA branches, especially the electronic appointments which did away with waiting on queues. Over 500,000 e-appointments have been carried out for the disabled in the last 2.5 years, he said. “The multiple visits to KEPAs are abolished,” he said. “Up to now, an individual had to show up three or four times at KEPAs to certify their disability. Today, only one visit is required, when they will be examined by a doctors’ committee. The rest will take place digitally.”
The application of 46 euros is also abolished, he said; 250,000 citizens seeking certifications for disabilities had to pay that in the last 5 years, he said, while a national registry for disabled people will also be set up, as requested by their associations, along with a related identity card. A lot of these innovations were planned in collaboration with people involved in disability services and advocacy, he stressed.
Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis said the one-stop portal will gradually add more services, while it already provides information for the rights of people with disabilities. He detailed further digital services that will be gradually added, while noting that personal information is protected, including medical data. “This entire strategy does not relate to privileges alone, but to rights. They are new rights in an emerging digital world in relation to a state that ought to have functioned like this decades ago,” he said.