OPINION

Patients paying for health sector woes

Back in 2004, the ruling New Democracy conservative party pledged to accelerate the recruitment of nursing staff for the country’s state hospitals. In 2006, the current health minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos, pledged to reform ASEP, the Supreme Council for Personnel Selection, in order to remedy some of the shortcomings in the country’s disjointed health sector. However Greece’s state clinics still barely have enough staff. At the same time, people who took part in the hiring competition two years ago are still waiting to be appointed. But the main problem is that there are not enough funds to incorporate staff in the National Health System. State hospitals are in the red and this is blocking the hiring of the necessary staff. And it’s the patients who are paying the price. Greece needs to streamline its National Health System and increase spending in the sector. These should be among the government’s top priorities.