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Outline of new health system unveiled

Infrastructure upgrade, recruiting medical workers, and selection of specialty based on degree

Outline of new health system unveiled

The new National Health System (ESY) which the government plans to implement in the post-pandemic era was laid out this week by Alternate Health Minister Mina Gaga to all the doctor MPs in ruling New Democracy at the party’s headquarters. 

Gaga said legislative initiatives will be expedited to this end.

More specifically, Gaga referred to a new “health map,” which includes the reorganization and restructuring of the country’s health centers and hospitals.

The plan envisages using funds from the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the interconnection of small regional hospitals with larger ones in the urban centers as part of the so-called hub-and-spoke organization design. This model entails a network consisting of an anchor establishment (hub) which offers a full array of services, complemented by secondary establishments (spokes) which offer more limited service arrays.

Gaga also referred to medical specialties, saying that the way new doctors choose specialties will be drastically changed in order to connect the demand with the supply. 

The plans of the ministry also include recording the needs of the health system, so that the offer of specialties can meet demand. This imbalance between specialty supply and demand was especially pronounced during the pandemic with the great shortage of anesthesiologists. 

The idea is to provide graduates with more options, depending on the grades with which they earned their degrees.

Accordingly, those that graduate with honors will be able to choose between more specialties than those who graduate with lower grades. 

Gaga also announced that personnel will be significantly boosted, with announcements expected next month for the recruitment of 4,000 health workers, 910 administrative and other staff and 700 doctors.

The government is also planning the immediate utilization of RRF funds for infrastructure purposes.

The main goal is to improve building infrastructure either through the upgrading of the existing buildings or the construction of new ones, or through interventions and additions of floors.

The ministry’s list includes the Evangelismos, Thriasio and Sotiria hospitals in Athens, Papageorgiou and Ippokrateio hospitals in Thessaloniki, as well as the General Hospital of Lamia, and the university hospitals of Patra and Iraklio.