Free healthcare, medicines to begin on June 1

Free healthcare, medicines to begin on June 1

Refugees and low-income Greeks who are uninsured will be able to receive public healthcare and medicines without having to contribute to their cost from June 1.

The ministries of Health, Labor and Finance have signed a joint decision that puts into effect the provision, which was passed through Parliament earlier this year as part of the package of measures aimed at easing the social impact of the crisis known as the “parallel program.”

The free cover includes clinical and diagnostic tests, hospital treatment, prenatal care, rehabilitation, transfer abroad for specialist treatment and the handing out of medicines and other consumables.

Any individual earning less than 2,400 euros per year will not have to pay anything for their drugs or healthcare. This threshold rises for families, depending on how many children they have. Greece’s main healthcare provider, EOPYY, will be responsible for covering the cost of the free medical care.

When the legislation was submitted to Parliament, a report by the General Accounting Office put the cost of implementing the scheme, which also covers refugees who have applied for residence in Greece, at 100 million euros.

However, the ministerial decision, which instructs the relevant authorities to begin implementing the program from June 1, states that the cost cannot be accurately estimated “as it depends on actual events.”

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