NEWS

Confusion grows over family doctor scheme

PENNY BOULOUTZA

TAGS: Health

With the end of the year looming, doctors and citizens are struggling to come to grips with a Health Ministry initiative to get all patients insured under the National Health System (ESY) and the National Organization for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY) registered with a so-called “family doctor.”

According to the official timeline, citizens have until the end of the year to register with a general physician in their neighborhood who is part of the scheme. However, a serious shortage of such doctors has left thousands confused about whether they will still be entitled to primary care.

Health Minister Andreas Xanthos has said in two radio interviews that ESY and EOPYY doctors will be filling the void until the option becomes available. However, the ministry has yet to make this announcement official.

“If the problems are not addressed soon, there is a visible risk of citizens giving up on their own healthcare,” the Association of Greek Doctors said in an announcement, calling on the ministry to issue a clear set of guidelines.

The association of EOPYY doctors also accused the ministry of “bullying” citizens to “sign up by the end of the year with a nonexistent or hard-to-find family doctor or risk losing their preventive care.”

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