Health bill to set 12-hour shift limit for Greek doctors


Legislation being drafted by the Health Ministry aims to set a 12-hour limit on shifts worked by Greek doctors at state hospitals and put an end to the much longer hours that are not uncommon today.

The bill, which the ministry is expected to submit to the Federation of Greek Hospital Doctors’ Unions (OENGE) in the coming days, is part of efforts by the government to align Greek law with European legislation that sets a 48-hour limit on the amount of work done by doctors per week.

In a recent meeting with representatives of OENGE, Health Minister Andreas Xanthos emphasized that the key aim of the new legislation would be to abolish 17-hour shifts being worked by doctors which often stretch to 24 hours on weekends or public holidays.

In December, the European Court of Justice found Greece to have violated European Union laws by letting doctors work excessively long hours without proper rest.