Health Minister leads bid to revoke 25-euro hospital admission fee

Just a few weeks before a 25-euro admission fee for state hospital visits is due to come into effect, Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis is leading an initiative to revoke the measure, Kathimerini understands.

The measure, which was voted into law last November and is due to become effective on January 1, 2014, was designed to bring in some 50 million euros in revenue. But Georgiadis has reportedly already proposed to troika officials other ways of bringing in the same revenue, Kathimerini understands.

The reported shift in the stance of Georgiadis, who had until recently insisted that the measure was unavoidable, follows vehement objections to the imposition of the fee, particularly in the ranks of PASOK, the junior partner in the governing coalition.

Earlier on Wednesday, the head of Parliament’s social affairs committee, Dimitris Kremastinos, who is a PASOK deputy, objected to the prospect of citizens being charged 25 euros every time they visit a state hospital. Other socialist deputies also opposed the measure, including Yiannis Koutsoukos who insisted that the Greek public health system should continue to provide all services for free.

According to the legislation as it currently stands, the admission fee would not apply to those visiting hospitals for scheduled medical tests and would not be imposed on those earning less than 11,000 euros per year nor on patients suffering chronic illnesses.