A massive overhaul of Greece’s cash-strapped healthcare system is not expected to start next week without significant tension between the Health Ministry and doctors with the country’s biggest provider, the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY).
One of the most contentious parts of the overhaul is the closure of EOPYY’s polyclinics and the placement of their staff in a civil service mobility scheme. The Health Ministry has given the managers of Greece’s EOPYY polyclinics until Monday to comply with the directive. The union representing EOPYY’s doctors, however, has said that it is prepared to take legal action against any polyclinic administrator who complies with the ministry’s demands.
The ministry’s plan is to shut down the system for around one month as it oversees the transition of EOPYY into the new Primary National Healthcare Network (PEDY). During this one-month period, it hopes to evaluate all of the staff placed in the mobility scheme in order to determine who will be rehired by PEDY and who will be let go.
A total of 8,691 doctors and employees from all of EOPYY’s services and about 1,200 hospital staff are to be inducted in the mobility scheme.
Meanwhile, on the Cycladic islands of Paros and Antiparos, a council comprising municipal, Church and other local authorities has decided to hold a referendum on Sunday after suggesting that the two islands could break from the National Health System. It was not clear what the exact questions in the referendum will be.