ENGLISH

Health minister says bill on pharmacies ready next week

Δημοσίευση 12 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:56 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Health minister says bill on pharmacies ready next week
Facebook Twitter Whatsapp

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Tuesay said that he hoped to wrap up talks between the ministry and pharmacists about opening their profession within the week, so that he could table the relevant draft bill in Parliament by next Wednesday.

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Tuesay said that he hoped to wrap up talks between the ministry and pharmacists about opening their profession within the week, so that he could table the relevant draft bill in Parliament by next Wednesday.

"As soon as we have the comments of the European Commission we will call the national pharmacists association in order to talk and conclude," the minister said.

Questioned about serious shortages in basic medicines that have arisen, Loverdos suggested that these were largely artificial and caused by "parallel exports" that he stressed were a form of illegal behaviour.

He said Greek authorities would be ruthless in dealing with the phenomenon and that the national drug organisation was monitoring the shortages and would come up with a solution sometime next week.

Meanwhile, Greek pharmacists' association officials travelled to Brussels on Tuesday and held talks with the European Commission, outlining their objections to planned measures that will minimise their profit margins and change pharmacy opening times.

Association president Dimitris Vagionas said that Commission officials wanted the opening of the market but not more pharmacies that would lead to increased spending on drugs. He reported that they seemed suprised by the large number of pharmacies in Greece relative to other EU countries.

Turning to other issues, the minister again clarified the criteria for planned hospital mergers, saying that these would be judged by four basic rules:

That one hospital governor could run two hospitals that were adjacent to each other; that administrative structures could be shared between more than one hospital; that mergers would aim to enhance cooperation between hospitals in terms of emergency duty and clinic operation; and that smaller hospitals situated near much larger hospitals would essentially be converted into health centres governed by the central hospital.

Loverdos promised that the changes would not mean the firing of excess administrative staff and announced that some 3,000 administrative employees would be transferred from other state organisations to the health system, covering positions mainly in technical services, IT departments and other similar services.

Among other announcements, the minister unveiled plans to set up an independent committee that will prepare a detailed report on an overall reform of the health system designed to make it more efficient.

The committee will be empowered to check the monitoring of prescriptions and even propose modifications to the EU-IMF Memorandum concerning health issues and will be made up of university academics specialising in health sector economics. It will be led by Ilias Mossialos, a professor of health policy at the London School of Economics and a PASOK state deputy.

Loverdos also referred to a process now underway for a new costing of medical actions - the first since 1991. He stressed its importance and noted that several members of the Central Health Council had received threats from the various groups of interests that were affected.

He appeared confident that the modernisation of the procurement system for hospital supplies would help save 400 million euro in spending on hospital supplies and drugs by the end of 2011, with ministry officials pointing out that five companies had already halved the cost of pace-makers to 1,500 euro.