The union of Greece’s state hospital workers, POEDIN, on Friday demanded measures from the government to stop increases in the price of medical masks, which have been in great demand over the past few weeks due to a spike in the seasonal flu and fears over the new coronavirus.
In an announcement released on Friday, POEDIN accused hospital suppliers of profiteering by jacking the price of simple flu masks from 0.01 euros per piece before the recent increase in demand to 0.03 euros today for simple medical masks. The cost of heavy-duty masks used for surgeries, it added, has also skyrocketed from 0.6 euros to 2 euros a piece. (The prices do not include value-added tax).
“Companies are invoking shortages to justify profiteering at the expense of hospitals and citizens, taking advantage of concerns about the appearance of the coronavirus and a peak in the flu,” POEDIN said.
“Hospitals’ anemic budgets will not be able to cope and what will happen is that they will run out of masks, which are essential for citizens, if not for the coronavirus then certainly for the seasonal flu,” the union said, calling for action from the government.