Plan for health booklets for the uninsured

Health Minister Panayiotis Kouroublis on Monday unveiled a plan aimed at helping some 2.5 million uninsured citizens gain access to free healthcare.

Under Kouroublis’s plan, which is expected to be enforced by next month, millions of uninsured citizens will be able to apply for health booklets at Citizens’ Information Centers (KEPs).

Greeks and immigrants who are legally resident in Greece will be eligible, as will children and pregnant women irrespective of their legal status.

Apart from free access to medical assistance and drugs, uninsured patients will also be able to undergo health tests at state hospitals.

Alternate Administrative Reform Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, who also attended Monday’s press conference, said the new reform was a crucial one “that we have to do, whatever the cost.”

Kouroublis said Greece’s crisis had created deep inequalities in society which a leftist government cannot accept.

The government’s plan is to be put up for public consultation until May 11. Then, once the best of the proposed improvements have been applied, a biministerial decision will be signed, paving the way for the legislation to be implemented.

Although existing Greek law allows uninsured citizens access to health services free of charge, many hospital units and public services interpret the legislation in varying ways and so the law is not always enforced.

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