Cures caught up in rule book

Cancer patients are finding it difficult to access some medical treatments due to time-consuming bureaucratic procedures adopted by the country’s social security funds, the Hellenic Society of Medical Oncology (HESMO) said yesterday. Speaking ahead of World Cancer Day on Sunday, medical experts said that due to red tape, Greek patients do not have access to available innovative treatments unless they pay for it themselves. IKA is the only fund to have set up a committee to examine these sorts of cases, while the other large funds are getting stuck on technical rules, HESMO added. The doctors also called on the press to help put across the message of the achievements in the field and stop short of promoting supposed miracle cures. Doctors were referring to a media frenzy that has broken out in Greece recently over the supposed benefits for cancer patients offered by olive tree leaves.