The Panhellenic Medical Association (PIS) on Wednesday presented a series of recommendations for a radical overhaul of the country’s public hospitals that would grant them more flexibility and bring money into their cash-strapped coffers.
The core of the proposal concerns changing the legal status of public hospitals to that of nongovernmental organizations, thus giving their boards greater independence in executive decisions such as administrative appointments and medical hirings.
State hospitals could also raise revenues, according to PIS, by allowing private practice doctors to use their facilities to treat patients, brokering agreements with private insurance companies in Greece and abroad, and also expanding operating hours for consultations, diagnoses and surgeries for paying patients.
PIS said it is confident that its recommendations will be supported by the “overwhelming majority of hospital doctors, as they would allow them to augment their incomes in a legal way, improve hospital operations and increase revenues.”
The proposals, however, have already been opposed by the Union of Athens and Piraeus Hospital Doctors (EINAP), which dismissed them as little more than an attempt to privatize public healthcare.
Changing state hospitals’ legal status, meanwhile, is “a red flag for all of the active unionists among hospital doctors,” EINAP warned.