Pharmacies across the country are to remain closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as pharmacists resume their protests against government reforms aimed at opening up their sector to competition. Pharmacies in Piraeus will be closed from Monday through Thursday while some emergency pharmacies are scheduled to operate on the strike days.
Citizens insured with the Social Security Foundation (IKA) and other funds who have problems finding an open pharmacy can get anti-viral flu medicine from state hospital medical dispensaries as long as they have a doctor’s prescription.
The spread of swine flu (H1N1) has gathered pace over the past two weeks and is expected to peak over the next month, according to experts. A total of 33 people have died in Greece after becoming infected with the virus. Health Minister Andreas Loverdos is to be briefed on the situation later on Monday.
The action by pharmacists coincides with ongoing strike action by hospital doctors in Athens and Piraeus that has resulted in more than 30,000 appointments being cancelled.
Doctors employed with IKA are continuing their strike action this week too but citizens insured with IKA can visit doctors employed with other funds, according to a decision by Loverdos last week.