Bid to curb under-the-table payments at state hospitals


The government is examining new ways to crack down on the enduring phenomenon of under-the-table payments, or “fakelakia,” for treatment at public hospitals, Health Minister Andreas Xanthos has told Kathimerini.

Authorities are considering two new interventions, Xanthos said, firstly preventing doctors found to have accepted bribes from returning to work and secondly making more effective use of public complaints. “It is time for a more institutional reaction to the phenomenon,” he said.

Recent studies indicate that one in three Greeks pay fakelakia despite the belt-tightening necessitated by austerity measures. Xanthos said Greeks continue to pay fakelakia chiefly due to a lack of faith in the ability of public services to deliver.

Judging from public complaints posted on the website, fakelakia for treatment at hospitals are the most common, followed by local authorities and other services.