Doctors call rolling strikes over transfer plan

The association representing doctors who work with the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY), Greece’s main primary healthcare provider, on Monday called for 24-hour walkouts from next Monday to protest the government’s plan to induct hundreds of medics into a mobility scheme that foresees forced transfers and layoffs.

Responding to the decision, Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, who is overseeing a shake-up of the health sector, appealed to doctors not to proceed with the action and to “realize that they have a duty toward Greek citizens.”

Georgiadis called on doctors to join the government for dialogue regarding the required reform of the health sector but admitted that some medics “who are deemed not to be necessary” would be dismissed. He did not determine how many layoffs the government is likely to proceed with as the ministry is in the process of assessing what needs the primary healthcare sector has and whether any surplus doctors could be posted to public hospitals.

The ministry is also awaiting a report from EOPYY’s evaluation committee, due to be submitted on December 6.

The European Union Task Force for Greece has suggested that some 2,250 doctors working at EOPYY could be moved to state hospitals.

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