A government reforms council overseen by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday gave the go-ahead for the immediate induction of 8,500 doctors and employees of EOPYY, the country’s main healthcare provider, into a mobility scheme which will see the staff transferred to the National Health System (ESY) or dismissed.
Some 1,100 EOPPY employees will be kept on for EOPYY’s central administration and its 26 pharmacies.
As for EOPYY doctors, those who want to continue working for the public sector will be obliged to close their private practices as they will be considered full-time, exclusive employees of ESY.
On Thursday Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis called on the EOPYY doctors, who have been holding rolling 24-hour strikes to protest the mobility scheme, to call off their action and join the government for dialogue on the overhaul of the health service. “The reform will be much better if doctors are present rather than absent,” Georgiadis said.
Addressing a high-level meeting on Greek health sector reforms attended by Archbishop Ieronymos and European Health Commissioner Tonio Borg, Samaras heralded a “refounding of ESY.” “The giant with feet of clay must finally stand on firm ground,” he said. He added that the overhaul of the health sector was not being carried out “for fiscal reasons or because it has been imposed by the memorandum” but for the public interest.