Greek hospitals turn away Libyan rebels

Private Greek hospitals that had been earning much-needed revenues from treating Libyan freedom fighters injured in their country last year, have stopped accepting them as patients due to a mounting unpaid bill.

Kathimerini has learned that the hospitals are owed about 20 million euros for the treatment they provided. The problem began last November, when the new Libyan government took over responsibility for paying the hospital bills. Until then, the costs had been paid by Qatar.

Greek hospitals have treated more than 4,500 rebels since the outbreak of fighting in Libya last year. Their arrival has helped private hospitals, which saw patient turnover drop by about 15 percent as a result of the crisis. Hospitals received between 15,000 and 30,000 euros for each patient.

However, hospitals since February refused to accept more wounded from Libya until the government in Tripoli pays for the care that has already been provided.