Government, striking doctors remain at loggerheads

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Wednesday responded to strike action by doctors employed by the Social Security Foundation (IKA) by announcing that people insured with IKA will be able to visit doctors who work for two other major funds.

Addressing a joint press conference with IKA director Rovertos Spyropoulos and Deputy Labor and Social Insurance Minister Giorgos Koutroumanis, Loverdos said that citizens unable to see IKA doctors – who are on strike through Friday – will be able to visit the Civil Servants’ Fund (OPAD) and the Self-Employed Pension Fund (OAEE).

The Athens Doctors’ Association condemned the decision and accused Loverdos of eschewing dialogue and resorting to «strikebreaking tactics.»

Loverdos noted that «times are hard and demand tolerance and levelheadedness from everyone.»

Earlier on Wednesday, hospital doctors had called a snap 24-hour strike at the same time that around 40 IKA doctors took over a conference room at the Health Ministry to stage a sit-in protest.

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