Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Monday addressed the World Health Organization (WHO) 64th plenary session in Geneva, underlining that international cooperation in the sector of health is a universal demand considering that infectious and non infectious diseases know no boundaries.
Loverdos referred to the parliament’s decision in March to ratify the agreement for the establishment of a WHO office in Athens, stressing that it “constitutes an investment in our common future”.
Referring to the growing problem of illegal migration faced by Greece, Loverdos stated that healthcare expenditures for uninsured migrants in Greece are estimated at 150 million euros annually, corresponding to more than 5 pct of the hospital care budget.
Loverdos underlined that in this period of economic crisis the country is going through, the public health system reform is a top priority for the Greek government given the fact that the healthcare services enjoyed by the Greek people are not the desired ones in spite of the fact that over 10 pct of the GDP is spent on the health sector.
Among the goals set by the Greek government are the improvement of the primary healthcare system, the restructuring of public hospitals and the reduction of non essential spending.
Loverdos also supported the imposition of an international levy on tobacco that will contribute to the anti-smoking campaign worldwide.