Healthcare system shakeup focus of committee meeting

A meeting of Parliament’s social affairs committee on Wednesday is expected to determine the fate of the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY), the country’s biggest healthcare provider, whose doctors have been on strike for several days as they are locked a dispute with the Health Ministry over plans to place them in a civil service mobility scheme.

One the one hand, the ministry is expected to propose a plan for all doctors at EOPYY to be transferred to a new body for primary healthcare on a full-time basis, which will mean many of them having to close down their private practices.

The plan foresees the transfer of the management of EOPYY’s polyclinics to the new system taking place over a period of six months and EOPYY employees being inducted into the mobility scheme gradually to ensure that the health system continues to operate relatively smoothly and without serious disruptions for patients. If protesting doctors refuse to cooperate, however, the overhaul will be speeded up, Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis warned last week.

The EOPYY doctors, meanwhile, on Monday said they would continue their strike through the week, though they did agree to send representatives to participate in Wednesday’s discussion in Parliament. They are expected to demand that all EOPYY doctors be inducted into the new system, with many of them being granted promotions.

Doctors and staff at the National Health System (ESY), meanwhile, said on Monday that they will be holding a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, resulting in major disruptions at public hospitals and health centers.

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