The government is mulling an initiative that would allow doctors to hold paid surgeries in the afternoon – for patients who have the ability to cover the doctors’ fee – as part of a bid to increase dwindling health sector funding and shorten waiting lists, Kathimerini understands.
The initiative, which is expected to be outlined in a draft bill by the end of the year, would build on a new trend as many hospitals already allow their doctors to have paid appointments in the afternoon.
According to sources, Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis has discussed the idea with hospital managers and coordinators. The head of the national coordinators’ association, Nikos Maroudias, told Kathimerini that the measure is already common practice in Italy and Portugal and “operates perfectly.” The scheme would involve afternoon surgeries for which doctors would receive a fee while the cost of the operation would be covered by the patient’s social security fund as is the case with the private health clinics, Maroudias said.
The initiative would facilitate patients who have the means to cover the doctors’ fee – and who do not want to, or cannot, join a long waiting list. It would also give doctors a legal way of boosting their income, bolster the coffers of state hospitals and reduce the size of waiting lists.