Long-term patients feel underserved

Long-term patients feel underserved

Six out of 10 patients suffering from long-term health problems in Greece do not have a health adviser and four in 10 are forced to follow treatment regimens that do not suit their needs, according to the preliminary findings of a new study.

Another alarming discovery made in the pilot phase of the study being conducted by the Organization for Quality Assurance in Healthcare (ODIPY) and the University of Athens’ School of Health Sciences as part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Patient-Reported Indicators Surveys (PaRIS), was the large number of patients (44.6%) who have to convey their medical history themselves, usually verbally, in the absence of a proper record.

Researchers surveyed more than 400 patients suffering from long-term health problems in the first phase of the study, ahead of the main part, which aims to question 10,000 patients.

They found that 57.2% of patients have to make important decisions regarding the health services they use without the help of an expert coordinating their treatment and 29.6% are only “partially satisfied” with the treatment regimen subscribed to them.

In another crucial question, 22.6% of respondents said they have often neglected to seek treatment because of the difficulty of accessing a primary healthcare facility.

These are some of the problems that ODIPY, an organization set up just two years ago, found with the National Health System and that affect all patients, not just those with chronic ailments.

Some of the more serious problems involve an imbalance in the distribution of patients and healthcare personnel, with the result that some hospitals are overcrowded while others are underutilized.

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