Sunday October 26, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Island reaction

By Nikos Xydakis

A referendum planned for February 16 on the Cycladic islands of Paros and Antiparos over whether or not to maintain the public healthcare system or to go it alone should be cause for some deep reflection on the part of the government but also on the rest of society as well.

Reforms that were part of the country’s bailout deal certainly led to a partial shake-up of the National Health System (ESY), though this was mainly restricted to curbing exorbitant spending on medicines and on across-the-board cuts to shrinking public healthcare services. A recent report by the European Parliament on the social impact of fiscal austerity on four eurozone countries, in fact, laments the effect cutbacks have had on healthcare. Within the context of national and European criteria for social equality, there is nothing more reasonable than the residents of Paros and Antiparos demanding the same access to healthcare services as other parts of the country.

On the other hand, we cannot overlook the fact that many health services, and health centers especially, have suffered in the recent past from lousy management, wasteful spending and politically expedient appointments in top management positions. These problems should have been fixed by now, though not at the expense of residents on islands and other inaccessible parts of the country who now lack fundamental services such as cardiologists and orthopedists.

Greece is a nation of islands and it is its islands that have given it so many of its unique natural, intellectual, cultural and geopolitical characteristics. Islands are also a key part of the country’s capital as they are a major magnet for tourism.
Protesting Paros, beleaguered Santorini and understaffed Myconos are the big tourism factories of the Aegean. Yet neglected infrastructure and facilities make them unattractive as permanent homes, undermining their demographic rejuvenation. These problems also contribute to stunting the further growth of tourism into a form that can have a more long-term effect and be more sustainable. How could any foreigner – pensioners especially – agree to spend the off-season on the islands knowing that there is a shortage of basic healthcare facilities? How can new forms of tourism be developed, aimed at, for example, the elderly or those recovering from illness?

Fiscal adjustment is a tool, not gospel. It should be applied with flexibility, understanding about the problem and ingenious adjustments, especially when what is at stake is the survival of the country’s islands, the symbolic core of Hellenism and the Mediterranean world.


CORRECTION: Due to an editorial error, this commentary suggests that the residents of Paros and Antiparos will vote on whether or not to stay with the public healthcare system, when in fact the referendum's purpose is to register public discontent with the system and to propose ways of acting on that sentiment.

ekathimerini.com , Friday February 14, 2014 (20:45)  
End of reason, end of humanity
Banks need to step up
Tension for tensions sake?
Testing ground
Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
Authorities began on Saturday assessing the damage done by flash floods in various parts of Athens a day earlier, with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledging that all those affected would b...
No court hearings for civil cases
Greek courts are to stop conducting hearings, which include witness questioning, for civil cases, according to plans drawn up by the Justice Ministry. Kathimerini understands that in a bid t...
Inside News
Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
Economic reforms in Cyprus are starting to yield results, the government said on Saturday after one credit-rating agency upgraded its rating and a second its outlook for the bailed-out count...
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. No court hearings for civil cases
4. Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
5. Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
6. Policeman admits to murder of his cousin-in-law
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Banks need to step up
3. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
4. Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
5. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
6. No court hearings for civil cases
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greeces closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.