Health minister’s cancer test plan rapped


Doctors rounded on Health Minister Panayiotis Kouroublis on Wednesday after he suggested that cancer sufferers should be made to pay for part of their treatment if they failed to undergo precautionary tests.

Kouroublis told Eleftheros Typos newspaper on Monday that he plans to make four types of tests to detect cancer in men and women compulsory and that if people who did not undergo the checks later developed the disease they would have to contribute toward the medical assistance they receive.

“It is not feasible for politicians to implement their own makeshift schemes when medicine has gathered such expertise,” said Dimitris Varnavas, head of the union representing national health system doctors (OENGE). He suggested that having cancer was “enough punishment” for failing to undergo precautionary checks.

Kouroublis insisted that his aim is to heighten awareness about the disease and challenged his critics to put forward better ideas.