Lacking protection

When thousands of patient files are piled up on the balcony of an Athens hospital under sheets of plastic, it is very hard to talk about personal data protection.

This is all the more true when those data – which, according to European legislation, belong to each individual patient – are dispatched daily from health units in both the public and private sectors to state services (the Health Ministry and the Hellenic Statistical Authority) without any essential effort to secure their confidentiality.

The European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes a host of draconian provisions and foresees huge fines for offenders.

These are minor details, however, in a country where entire medical machines disappear from hospitals.