In 2012, pharmacies and private clinics will be padlocked to begin with. Self-employed doctors in Athens, protesting against the way that EOPYY operates, decided on a four-day strike from the 2nd to the 5th of January.

“For the medical world, ruling out the possibility of prescribing from non-EOPYY-affiliated physicians is a red line”, states the Athens Medical Association in an announcement, as the doctors are reacting to the “attempted rough and dangerous application of the EOPYY”, seeking suspension of operation for a minimum of four months pending the establishment of rules of procedure.

Doctors are also requesting “the immediate payment of debts by OPAD, totaling 350 million euros to doctors belonging to the fund, pending for two years, for which the Athens Medical Association is preparing complaints and reports of proceedings”.

On its part, the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association has announced a 48-hour nationwide strike on Jan. 2nd and 3rd, as well as the suspension of credit to all insurance funds from January 1st, 2012.

Pharmacists are calling for an “industry agreement on a stable framework, as well as ending the persecution of pharmacies”.

In a notice issued, they are stating that: “ There is a particular solution to the payment of insurance funds; suffocation and lack of liquidity cannot be treated by announcing measures without any sort of dialogue, pharmaceutical coverage continues to be degraded, and pharmacy owners are “punished” with a reduction of their already meager profits”.

Finally, pharmacists note that in a new meeting next week, they will assess the situation and make new decisions.

On the sidelines of the Cabinet meeting, Minister of Health Mr. Andreas Loverdos stated to reporters that “it is a different thing to have social conflicts from having the flames fanned by third parties”, stating that he does not mean the New Democracy party and its president, Antonis Samaras.