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Financial News: Greece must trim 1.3 billion euro in health care costs, minister says

Δημοσίευση 8 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:22 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Financial News: Greece must trim 1.3 billion euro in health care costs, minister says
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Health Minister Andreas Loverdos once again underlined the need to drastically reduce spending on health in Greece, in an interview with Real FM radio station on Friday, pointing out that the country was currently one of the highest spenders on public and private health throughout the world.

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos once again underlined the need to drastically reduce spending on health in Greece, in an interview with Real FM radio station on Friday, pointing out that the country was currently one of the highest spenders on public and private health throughout the world.

"We are the 6th-highest country on the planet for spending on public and private health. We spend 10 percent of our GDP, 25 billion euro a year, on public and private health care. Do we have services to match? Of course not," the minister said.

The minister said that total cuts in spending on health from the start of the year until the end of 2011 would have to reach 1.3 billion euro and that the measures that would achieve these savings must be decided by the end of January and announced to the public by February 5, before the EU-IMF inspection team arrived on February 10 to check Greece's public finances.

He also stressed that the government programme to cut back on wasteful spending in health had to succeed because otherwise it would have to be replaced by other, horizontal measures that would be unjust and unpalatable for everyone.

"If all goes well we will have an unobstructed course toward the 15 billion euro we are due to receive in March. If things do not go well I don't know what precise complications we will have," he added.

Concerning hospital mergers, the minister clarified that this essentially meant that one governor would be in charge of more than one hospital and that nearby hospitals would be asked to pool and share resources, such as staff or units.

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