Doctors working with the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY) have decided to extend their strike action to January 3 after accusing the Health Ministry of scuppering talks between the two sides over planned changes to the National Healthcare System (ESY).
The doctors, who have been on rolling strikes for five weeks, have taken issue with the Health Ministry for including in a draft bill that was voted through Parliament last week for lifting a ban on home foreclosures an amendment that will radically change the way they operate.
The voting of the amendment by Parliament “just 24 hours after talks had started scuppers any chance of a solution being found and has torpedoed the dialogue that is under way on the orders of the prime minister,” the doctors, whose representatives met with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras recently in a bid to solve the stalemate, said in a statement earlier this week.
The main objection by EOPYY doctors is a decision by the Health Ministry to prohibit them from working in a private capacity while on the state’s payroll. They also argue that their new pay structure will see them earning significantly less than doctors with ESY.
The Federation of Hospital Doctors and the Panhellenic Medical Association have come out in support of their colleagues at EOPYY, saying that the new framework also fails to provide assurances regarding their salaries and social security rights.
Meanwhile, Greece’s pharmacists are also said to be gearing up for action amid speculation that the government is considering plans for liberalizing the pharmaceutical market and allowing other outlets such as supermarkets to sell over-the-counter drugs.