Health Ministry looks for savings from rent costs

The Health Ministry has ordered primary healthcare facilities to renegotiate their rents with the aim of lowering costs to make up for other measures the government plans to adopt in the sector.

Sources told Kathimerini that healthcare units in Attica should not pay more than 7 euros per square meter for their rent. They are currently paying up to 13 euros per square meter. The ministry is also planning to make better use of empty government buildings. Ministry sources said, for example, that a 3,000 square meter building in Aghia Paraskevi, northern Athens, is lying empty while health services in the area are renting two other facilities.

There are also plans to move the Health Ministry out of the building it rents on Kifissias Avenue and which costs taxpayers 5 million euros a year. The ministry is set to be housed in the same building as the ambulance service.

The government believes that these interventions will help produce savings that will help make up for the loss of revenue from some of the measures it wants to adopt, such as scrapping the 5-euro entry ticket at public hospitals.