NEWS

Double trouble for the insured

The union representing the country?s pharmacists said on Monday that its members will no longer supply medicines prescribed by the country?s National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY) without immediate payment in cash as of September 1.

The Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association, which represents Greece?s 12,000 pharmacies, said on Monday that it is demanding that EOPYY pay debts which have remained outstanding for more than 85 days. The organization has only covered its bill through May and hasn?t paid for any prescription drugs since June, though the exact figure of the debt was not made public.

On Saturday, the head of EOPYY, Gerasimos Voudouris, had told Skai TV that pharmacists would be paid for June in the first 10 days of September, slamming the union?s decision by suggesting that it is premature and makes them appear ?unreliable.?

Responding, the chief of the Attica Pharmacists? Union told Kathimerini that ?it is not just about the money for June.?

?That will be paid at some point. But what about the money for July, August and September? That needs to be paid as well. We are not beggars. Pharmaceutical companies and our suppliers won?t even give us one day of credit,? Constantinos Lourantos said.

In more bad news for the cash-strapped country?s insured, doctors signed on with EOPYY are also pressing the Health Ministry to settle mounting debts from the healthcare provider and will from September 3 demand payment for consultations directly from patients.

Doctors with EOPYY say that they are owed over 50 million euros, while laboratory technicians claim their arrears have reached 200 million euros.

?When the minister cannot pay healthcare workers for the time that they have already put into the job, then it is his duty to forfeit his second salary [as a parliamentary deputy] for that same period,? the Athens Medical Association said in a statement on Monday.