PM asks for faster hirings

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has instructed the Economy and Finance Ministry to bring forward the planned hiring of medical staff in order to help to cover shortages in the state health system, sources said. Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos had a meeting with Karamanlis yesterday in which the two discussed developments in the sector. «The National Health System has contributed in many useful ways in the past but as we all recognize, it has been surpassed by changing conditions,» the minister said. The government has announced new staff hirings aimed at helping to bring the system into line with EU guidelines that limit the number of hours doctors are allowed to work. Avramopoulos had previously said that some 6,000 new employees would be hired. Meanwhile, doctors at hospitals across Greece announced yesterday they will strike on May 30, accusing the health minister of going back on his promise to solve financial problems in the sector.