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GreecePublic hospitals operating as PPPs does not mean they are being privatized,...

Public hospitals operating as PPPs does not mean they are being privatized, Plevris tells ANA-MPA

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New Democracy will be the first party with the most votes in the May 21 national elections, Health Minister Thanos Plevris told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) on Saturday.

It is “obviously difficult to from a single party government under the so-called ‘simple proportional representation’ system,” he added, but “May 21 will certainly indicate how the country will be governed.”

The minister observed that “the biggest problem currently in the national health system remains its understaffing and underfunding,” and that “you ask for doctors and they don’t respond, while specialists are in short supply, and many doctors don’t find the NHS an attractive employer – and I’m not talking about the Athens hospital of Evangelismos, I’m talking, for example, about the island of Kalymnos,” he added.

Plevris also responded to criticism about the privatization of the NHS, pointing out that if he is still in the position of health minister after the elections he will support the “thought that hospitals in general should operate as Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).” Here, Plevris mentioned Thessaloniki’s Papageorgiou hospital as one such example, saying that “this is not called privatization: the state will be the sole shareholder of these PPPs and hospitals will provide services to people entirely free-of-charge, but they will have an economic and administrative flexibility to attract doctors and offer better wages where feasible, collaborate with health institutions abroad and provide better services to citizens on the basis of accountability and evaluation,” he stressed.

The two most important reforms in the country’s national health system that began during the New Democracy government, and which should continue to evolve after the elections, noted Plevris, is the Personal Doctor and preventive medical tests, such as the free mammograms.

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SOURCE; ANA-MPA

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